New Delhi, Apr 02: The Annual Plan for Gujarat for the year 2008-09 was finalised at a meeting, here on Tuesday, between the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Plan size for the current year was agreed at Rs. 21,000 crore. This includes additional Central assistance of Rs.130 crore for projects of special importance to the State.
Ahluwalia complimented the State Government for good performance, and said both fiscal and growth performance is impressive. “Growth rate of 10.4 per cent has been achieved in the 10th Plan, which is better than the national average. The growth rate target for the State has been fixed at 11.2 per cent, which is achievable going, by the current trends," he added. The State Government was also complimented for encouraging public private partnership in development of social infrastructure. Efforts to improve human development index and rural development strategy were also appreciated.
The Commission also appreciated State Government"s effort to up-grade health and education levels to international standards. Efforts to improve implementation of flagship programme were also appreciated.
Briefing the commission on strategy for development, Modi said that focus would be on making development more inclusive. Human development index would be improved through investment in human capital, skill development and employment, empowerment through education and focus on unorganised sector, he added.
He further said that specific programmes would be initiated for deprived sections to make growth more inclusive. On fiscal performance, Modi said fiscal consolidation and institutional reforms had been successfully carried out. New pension scheme would be introduced shortly and consolidated sinking fund has been created to take care of future liabilities.
He said the Central Government should make schemes more flexible so as to enable State Governments to take full advantage and wanted more flexibility in rural development schemes.