J&K Annual Plan fixed at Rs 3,500 crore
The Plan size was fixed at a meeting in Yojna Bhavan between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Overall resources available works out to Rs 4,347.67 crore. This would include additional Central assistance of Rs 230 crore for Baglihar project and a special assistance of Rs 813.12 crore.
A power sector initiative agreed at includes a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding being entered between the State Government, Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission to put in place a programme for dealing with the growing deficit.
Based on the progress achieved against monitorable indicators, as per the programme, the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission will provide a special Central assistance of Rs 1000 crore and Rs 300 crore respectively during 2006-07 to fund the power sector deficit which is likely to be kept at Rs 1500 crore of which the State government will provide Rs 200 crore.
Dr Ahluwalia appreciated the efforts being made to put the State economy back on track. He said the economic indicators were showing positive trend and assured the State Government of full support from Planning Commission and Central Government in setting up the basic infrastructure needed for accelerating growth and rebuilding social infrastructure. He said the State has picked up momentum for development. Spending on infrastructure has gone up and revenue generation has picked up.
He said the State could take advantage of the new programmes launched by the Central Government.
The horticulture mission and Bharat Nirman are the programmes, which could help the State Government in bridging gaps. Besides, the State should take advantage of rich agriculture land and good land reforms. Rebuilding of cooperatives and public distribution system was also suggested by the Planning Commission team.
The Commission advised the State to revive local bodies and improve extension services in agriculture. Attention was also drawn to high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and the adverse sex ratio. The State was advised to give more focused attention to revival of water bodies and agriculture. Emphasis on development of infrastructure would facilitate revival of tourism which is the driver of the State economy.
Mr Azad said growth and development were the priority of the government. He said priority was given to provide basic infrastructure including health and education.
Pending projects were being completed on a priority basis. To improve efficiency in administration, physical monitoring has been strengthened and the system is being made more transparent.
He said Panchayat elections will be held in two to three months and by year-end 100 per cent metering of electrical connections would be introduced.