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1920-1940 Creation of State Planning Committee and its role in the development of BSSR national economy

In 1920 All-Russian Executive Committee made a decision to create State Planning Committee in order to develop state national economy.

As is known, the first committee was State Commission for Electrification of Russia, which created the governmental planning system, state planning body and the other bodies.

Economic councils, created in republics, provinces and regions, were the outset in the formation of local economic planning bodies.

Also BSSR Economic council was created.

Delegates from Belarus at the fourth session of USSR Central Executive Committee.

On 30 June 1921 Economic council confirmed the Statute of the Republic Planning Committee. BSSR State Planning Committee began its work since 1921. Its primary objective was only the development of the unified economic plan. Then State Planning Committee turned into the body, controlling the whole economy.

Initially it was very difficult to conduct such work, mainly because Belarus got free from foreign invaders much later than the other regions. Therewith at the early 20’s the republic national economy was strongly destroyed. So the main efforts of State Planning Committee were aimed at the restoration of national economy, in spite of the shortage of skilled personnel. Only when considerable part of industrial plants began to work, the work of rail transport and agriculture improved, favorable conditions for the development of the republic unified economic plan emerged. 

To that end on 7 April 1922 the meeting of the republic State Planning Committee was convened. At this meeting new Statute of BSSR State Planning Committee was adopted. In accordance with the Statute the goals of State Planning Committee were: analysis of  state economic bodies’ plans; formation of BSSR economic plan and its coordination with USSR  economic plan; fulfillment of BSSR economic plan; the development of electrification, regionalization, national resources plans; scientific ensuring of economic plan.

State Planning Committee was headed by the Chairman, appointed by BSSR Central Executive Committee. Party Bureau was created in order to coordinate State Planning Committee work with the republic superior bodies.

State Planning Committee’s activity was concentrated on the most important directions in the spheres of  industry, agriculture and forestry, transport, finance and economics, republic regionalization, its electrification and natural resources.

The organization of national economy planning favored rapid economic growth. In 1925-1926 the gross production of industry exceeded the 1913’s level by 28,5% (in the eastern regions), basic assets- by 5,5%, labour force – by 12,5%, productivity of labour – by 16,5%. Industrial sector became profitable.

Imposition of tax in kind instead of surplus-appropriation system, conducted during war communism, benefited agricultural growth. The foundations of new industrial relations began to appear in villages. In 1923 there were 105 agricultural societies, uniting 28427 peasant households.

State and collective farms became more important. By the end of 1925 agriculture reached pre-revolutionary level of cultivated area, agriculture gross production and cattle stock.

At that time, taking into consideration the importance of State Planning Committee’s activity, a range of scientists and experts took part in its work. BSSR State Planning Committee realized that the goals which were set before it can’t be carried out without close cooperation with the republic scientific establishments.

By the early 30’s after the establishment of Economic institution of BSSR Academy of Sciences, such cooperation had strong foundation. On 3 May 1928 BSSR Council of People's Commissars accepted the decree which stated: “To accept the project of five-year plan of national economic and socio-cultural development for 1928-1929, 1932-1933”. The Council of People's Commissars highly estimated the plan. 

During the first years of the plan the agricultural collectivization began. Industrialization was going very fast. New sectors were created. Production of difficult agricultural cars, building equipment, engineering tools and the other machinery began in the sphere of machinery construction. The first Belarussian power plant was created.

There were 65 people in BSSR State Planning Committee before composition of the second five-year plan (1931-1932). In 1936-1937 almost the whole State Planning Committee’s stuff was renewed, which is closely connected with the repressions of those times. By 1938 there were 85 people. Just before  World War 2 BSSR State Planning Committee’s structure was the following: State Planning Committee chairman and his two deputies; departments- industrial, agricultural; departments of fuel, turnover; science and culture department; staff training, housing and communal, public health, real assets, labour, finance, energy departments; special department, executive office and secretariat.