Vala's budget stresses on HDI improvement

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Gandhinagar, Feb 25 (UNI) Gujarat Finance Minster Vajubhai Vala has accorded special emphasis to Human Development Index (HDI) improvement in his budget, which he tabled in the state assembly today.

Stating that India ranks 128th in the world as far as HDI is concerned, Mr Vala said the government has decided to play a significant role in improving the dismal HDI by establishing a children's University in the state.

''If we can improve Gujarat's HDI, then it will definitely contribute to the nation's overall performance,'' he said.

He said to begin with, the government plans to establish ''Bal Gokulam'' which will be subsequently converted into a children's university. The institution is for the children who are poised to become important citizens of the country.

The Finance Minister said, ''We have to increase rural prosperity through agricultural development, employment opportunities and other means, but the stress would be to provide the common man with nutritious diet, pure drinking water, extension of quality education and extension of health facilities, so that HDI is improved.'' Vala, who set a record by presenting the budget for the 13th time, said the 11th Five Year Plan has allocation of Rs 106,918 crore which is more that what the state has spent in the last 47 years since its formation in 1960. Till now that state has spent Rs 103,619 crore.

The average growth rate over the last five years was 10.4 per cent against the target of 10.2 per cent. For the 11th Plan, a challenging target of 11.2 per cent has been set. At present, Gujarat is already moving towards achieving a growth rate of 11.3 per cent, he said.

Last year, the plan was Rs 16,000 crore. This year, it is Rs 19,030 crore -- an increase of 18.93 per cent.


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