The first step in this direction was monetary reform.
The chemical industry, metallurgy, and the coal industry have achieved significant development.
However, the development of industry was due to extensive methods. As before, thousands of new enterprises were built, but little attention was paid to improving the efficiency of existing facilities. Structural disparities gradually intensified: if in 1940 heavy industry accounted for 61.2% of all industrial output, in 1960 this figure increased to 72.5%, which in turn led to a decrease in the production of consumer goods.
Studying this period of economic history, it should be noted that the Soviet, initiating extremely large-scale leadership reforms, did not have a comprehensive long-term program for further development of the country. Only this can explain the numerous, common sense collisions of economic policy, which were determined by the will of the leaders (M. Khrushchev in the first place), their desire to urgently correct all shortcomings. This led to haste in determining the timing of achieving the goal, in choosing the methods of its implementation, which often devalued the positive effect of innovation.
In fairness, economists and practitioners have tried to develop new approaches to the problems of economic development of the country, especially in the field of long-term planning and forecasting, setting strategic macroeconomic goals.
As these developments were not designed to return quickly, they were not given enough attention. The country’s leadership needed real results at the moment, and therefore all efforts were aimed at endless adjustments to current plans. For example, a detailed plan for the Fifth Five-Year Plan (1951-1955) was never drawn up, and the directives of the XIX Party Congress became the main document that guided the work of the entire economy for five years. These were only the outlines of the Five-Year Plan, but there was no specific plan.
The same situation occurred with the Sixth Five-Year Plan (1956-1960). In February 1956, the XX Congress of the CPSU approved the main indicators of the Sixth Five-Year Plan, but in December of that year it became clear that the plan did not meet the real conditions. A transitional plan for one or two years was quickly drawn up, and then a seven-year plan for the development of the national economy (1959-1965) was born.
Traditionally, the so-called grassroots planning, ie drawing up plans at the enterprise level, has been weak. These plans, as a rule, reached the enterprises (shops, sections) already after the full production cycle (annual, quarterly) began, due to which the production was disrupted and feverish. The grassroots plan tasks were often adjusted, so the plan was transformed into a purely nominal document, which was directly related only to the process of accrual of wages and bonuses, which in turn depended on the percentage of implementation and overfulfillment of the plan.
Since, as mentioned above, the plans were constantly adjusted, the plans that were adopted at the beginning of the planning period (year, five-year plan) were not implemented (or, more precisely, were not implemented). The state plan “traded” with ministries, ministries – with enterprises as to what plan they can implement with available resources. But the supply of resources for such a plan still failed and began to “trade” again on the indicators of the plan, on the size of supplies, etc.
All this confirms the conclusion that the Soviet economy depended to a large extent not on competent economic developments, but on political decisions that were constantly changing in opposite directions.
The country has made fruitless attempts to improve the structure of the state apparatus, to provide ministers, directorsenterprises of new rights, or, conversely, to limit their powers, to divide the existing planning bodies and to create new ones, and so on.
There were many such “reforms” in the 1950s and 1960s, but none of them brought any real improvement in the work of the command system.
An example of an ill-conceived reform is the attempt to restructure the territorial administration (1957). In the course of this reform, a significant number of sectoral allied ministries were abolished, and instead territorial territorial councils of the national economy, which were connected with military production, the Ministry of Defense, Foreign and Internal Affairs, and some others, appeared. Thus, an attempt was made to decentralize management, ensure control over the economic bodies from below, created conditions for integrated economic development within a single state farm, reducing the state apparatus and reducing funds for its maintenance.
The reform was carried out in an emergency. On March 30, 1957, theses on the future reorganization were published, and on May 7, at a session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Law “On Further Improvement of the Organization of Industrial and Construction Management” was adopted. The restructuring of management structures was supposed to be completed by July 1. This did not take into account the fact that it was already the middle of the year, and the whole economy worked on different principles. A total of 105 economic administrative districts were created in the USSR, including 11 in Ukraine.
The first results of governance reform were quite successful. Thus, already in 1958, ie a year after its beginning, the increase in national income was 12.4% (compared with 7% in 1957). The scale of production specialization and intersectoral cooperation has grown, the process of creating and implementing new equipment in production has accelerated. But, according to experts, the effect is a consequence not only of restructuring. The fact is that for some time the enterprises were “homeless” (when the ministries did not actually function, and the soviet economies had not yet been formed).
It was during this period that companies began to work more productively, without feeling any leadership “from above”. But as soon as a new system of government was formed, the previous negative phenomena in the economy began to intensify. Moreover, new factors of negative content have appeared: tighter administration, constantly growing “own” local bureaucracy, local government.
Localism was manifested, in particular, in the fact that the soviet economies tried to fulfill primarily the planned tasks of producing the products required for their own consumption, and at the same time refused in every way to produce products for other soviet economies.
These and other “bottlenecks” in the work of the new governance structures appeared very quickly, but the center tried not to notice them, and all the shortcomings were attributed to the difficulties of the transition period. And although the outwardly new, “radnarhosigivska” system of government differed significantly from the previous “ministerial” its essence remained the same. The previous principle of distribution of raw materials, products, the dictate of the supplier in relation to the consumer remained. Economic levers could not become decisive in the conditions of absolute management of the command-administrative system.
The whole reorganization, in the end, did not lead to significant success. Moreover, if in 1951-1955 industrial production increased by 85%, agricultural – by 20.5%, and in 1956-1960, respectively, by 64.3% and 30%, then in 1961-1965 can someone write my lab report, these figures began to decline. and figure to 51 and 11%.
Thus, the centrifugal forces significantly weakened the economic potential of the country, many soviet economies were unable to solve large production problems. As early as 1959, the consolidation of soviet economies began: the weaker ones began to join the more powerful ones. The previous hierarchical structure in the country’s economy was revived rather quickly.
As a result of these “experiments”, the economic situation of the USSR at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s turned out to be quite tense, and inflation became more noticeable. The government has tried to improve the situation at the expense of workers. The first step in this direction was monetary reform. On January 31, 1961, new banknotes were introduced into circulation. The exchange of money was carried out in a ratio of 10: 1, in the same proportion changed prices and wages. In fact, the denomination was carried out, ie the consolidation of the country’s currency. But the purchasing power of new money continued to decline.
The next step was to decide on a general reduction in tariff prices in industry by about 30%. This was due to the fact that the dynamics of labor productivity growth in the country was lower than planned. The Central Committee of the party decided to organize a campaign aimed at reducing production costs, which meant a hidden reduction in workers’ wages. At the same time, a government decree was issued to increase (from June 1, 1962) prices for meat and meat products by 30%, for butter – by 25%. These measures caused dissatisfaction and led to spontaneous demonstrations by workers.
As already emphasized, one of the main tasks of the reforms that began in the mid-1950s was to abandon the use of mobilization measures in solving economic problems. After some time, it became clear that solving this problem was impossible for the Soviet economy, because economic incentives for development were incompatible with the command system. As before, it was necessary to organize masses of people to carry out various projects.
As an example we can cite the appeal to young people to participate in the developed virgin lands, to build grand enterprises in Siberia and the Far East. In April 1958, the staff of the Moscow-Sortuvalnaya railway station made a proposal to hold the annual All-Union Communist Subbotniks. These subbotniks were to become a model of communist (free) labor, and the money earned during the subbotniks was to be transferred to various funds.
These and other examples of various public initiatives were soon adopted by official propaganda and launched new mobilization measures. After some upsurge, the communist labor movement returned to the usual formalism, sometimes reaching the point of absurdity.
Thus, employees of research institutes, teachers, employees of various institutions, students were forced to perform unproductive work for free: sweeping the streets, working on construction sites and vegetable bases, to participate in harvesting, where they were used as free labor.