v Fifth Five Year Plan - the emphasis of the Programme was on the economic well-being of the population in hill areas and exploitation of the resources of the hilly region. The main programmes during the Fifth Five Year Plan consisted of activities in the areas of horticulture, plantation, afforestation, minor irrigation, animal husbandry and tourism.
v Sixth Five Year Plan- stressed the need for a balance in emphasis between beneficiary oriented and infrastructural development schemes, keeping in view the vital importance of ecological restoration and conservation. During the Sixth Plan the Watershed Development Programme was taken up on a pilot basis. Apart from the shift in the emphasis from beneficiary oriented schemes to eco-conservation and eco-development, a notable step initiated by the Planning Commission during the Sixth Plan.
v Seventh Five Year Plan- integrated development on compact watershed basis keeping in view the over-riding priorities of eco-development and eco-restoration as well as the basic needs of the people like food, fodder, fuel and safe drinking water.
v Eighth Five Year Plan- sustainable developments of the areas covered under the programme keeping in view its development potential, the needs of the local people and the financial allocations available. Soil-conservation, agriculture, afforestation, fuel and fodder development, minor irrigation, animal husbandry and sericulture were the focus area.
v Ninth Five Year Plan- Maintenance of ecological balance,preservation of genetic diversity , restoration of ecological damage caused by human intervention and. creation of awareness among the people and educating them on the far- reaching implications of ecological degradation and securing their active participation for the eco-development schemes.
v Tenth Five Year Plan- eco-preservation and eco-restoration with emphasis on preservation of bio-diversity and rejuvenation of the hill ecology. Focuse s on the needs and implementation of the strategies for conservation of bio- diversity and sustainable livelihood. Watershed based development has been basic thrust area of the programmme along with a participatory approach to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability. The main aim of the watershed approach is to ensure a holistic view of water and land resources and to prevent further degradation of these ecologically fragile areas. Attention is given to economic activities which are sustainable, use of technologies which will reduce the burden of the people both in economic and household situations and ensure means of livelihood for the inhabitants with minimal disturbance to the ecology.
v Eleventh & twelfth Five Year Plan- continue the strategy adopted in tenth five year plan.
Special Central Assistance under the programme is given on 90:10 basis i.e. 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan. As per the direction of Ministry of Finance, from the AnnualPlan 2004-05 only grant portion is being released to the State Governments, the loan portion is being raised by the State Governments.