In 1974 under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Sri C Achutha Menon, the composition of the Board was enlarged to include the Additional Chief Secretary to Government and Secretary to Government (ex-officio) in charge of Science and Technology as Members. In order to create a formal link between the Secretariat and the Planning Board for effective formulation and implementation of Plan schemes, nine Special Secretaries/Secretaries were appointed as Ex-officio Advisers (Plan programme) to the State Planning Board in respect of the subjects handled by them. The Planning Board was made a permanent major Department of the Government in 1974.
Besides the Administration and Publication Wings, the Planning Board had five major divisions − Economic Division, Agriculture Division, Industry and Infrastructure Division, Social Service Division and Evaluation Division.
Each division was assigned the task of conducting special studies relating to each sector, updating the basic data in respect of each sector and the formulation of medium term Plans for the State. The emphasis was to build up the necessary expertise and specialisation relating to important sectors in the Board. This has facilitated the Board to highlight the developments in each sector through its Annual Economic Review.
Senior-level posts of Chiefs for five divisions (Economic Division, Agriculture Division, Industry and Infrastructure Division, Social Service Division and Evaluation Division) were created and selection was made by direct recruitment through Public Service Commission.
A major study undertaken by the Board in 1974-75 related to the evaluation of the Fourth Five-Year Plan programmes. The Board organised a four week course on Agriculture Development Planning which comprised 83 sessions covering 40 topics, for the middle-level personnel of the Agricultural Department of the State. The course was repeated for a second batch of Agricultural Officers.