Full Plan Panel meet on Nov 8 to vet Eleventh Plan document

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) A meeting of the Full Planning Commission is slated for November 8 next to get its stamp of approval for the Eleventh Five Year Plan document, which aims to achieve a ten per cent growth rate by the terminal year of the Plan period.

The document outlines the programmes and policies to be adopted by the Centre and states during the next four years, which should enable a nine per cent GDP growth on an average during the plan period (2011-2015).

The meeting already delayed by a year is being held in a hurry following concerns expressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on undue delay in its finalisation.

In his concluding remarks during the last National Development Council meeting in the capital on education, Dr Manmohan Singh had stated that the delay would show up in the performance of the programmes outlined in the National Common Minimum programme(NCMP).

The Full Plan Panel meeting is being held depite the fact that several Steering Committee and Working Group Reports relating to different sectors during the Eleventh Plan period have not been recieved.

Informed sources told UNI that the speeding up in holding the Plan Panel meet is primarily because of political uncertainty in which the government finds itself and the need of the government to highlight some of its programmes and policies during the election campaigns as and when they take place.

This course of action is considered imperative in view of the inadequate progress so far relating to social sector programmes which have been frequently reviewed by the Prime Minister himself.

The sources said during the course of the recent political crisis relating to the UPA government and the Left parties on the nuclear deal, the Prime Minister himself sought views of the members on the flagship programmes, which sent the clear signal that the performance had been inadequate in programmes targetted for the commonman, such as rural roads, rural housing and drinking water supply.

This, the sources said, could put the ruling coalition at a disadvantage when election campaigns are lauched for the next general elections.

Political parties exude confidence that ambitious targets for programmes relating health, mass insurance and education would offer an opportunity to get votes.

The Commission has deviated from its earlier stance of holding an NDC relating to the health sector as also having regional conusltations with the Chief Ministers before getting approval of the highest policy making body, that is, the NDC.

Sources said the Prime Minister's Office has infact directed the Commission to gloss over regional consultations in the wake of the delay in finalisation of the document. It has argued that the views of the Chief Ministers have already become known during the course of the finalisation of annual plans.

Various Central Ministeries have stated that they were unable to launch new initiatives in the absence of the Plan document having been finalised.

The basic aim of the Eleventh Plan is to achieve high growth with inclusiveness, These in practical terms mean: (a) Acclerate GDP growth rate; (b) Doubling Per Capita Income by 2016- 17 by maintaining a ten per cent growth in the Twelvth Plan; (c)Doubling agricultural growth rate to four per cent to ensure broadbased spread of benefits of development; (d) Creating 70 million additional employment opportunities. Agricultsector is to receive top priority by the government during the plan period;(e) bridging the divide between the rich and poor, including the urban-rural divide; (f) Improving the gap relating to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as also the minorities; (g) A better gender balance.

UNI

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