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Gujarat Annual Plan fixed at Rs 12,503 crore; Up by 14 per cent

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) The Planning Commission today approved Rs 12,503 crore as Annual Plan outlay for Gujarat for 2006-07, up by 14 per cent from last year, and an elated Chief Minister Narendra Modi said it was an endorsement of the state's successful development policies.

The allocation for 2005-06 was Rs 11,000 crore.

''With this allocation, the total allocation for Gujarat for the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07) has been met'', said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia after his two-and-a-half-hour meeting with Mr Modi at the Yojana Bhavan.

The allocation includes a one-time additional Central assistance of Rs 80 crore for projects of special importance to the state relating to rainfed and groundwater distribution areas.

Mr Modi said the state has recorded 100 per cent achievement in its development schemes. ''During the new fiscal year, we will put special emphasis on social services sector with an allocation of 35 per cent of the Plan outlay as well as irrigation for which over Rs 4,000 crore has been earmarked,'' he said.

The outlay for the power sector has been fixed at over Rs 200 crore.

Dr Ahluwalia, who lauded the state's performance, however, raised concern on certain deficient areas like the need for more investments in agriculture and allied activity. ''The state government should pay focused attention on environment and dry land farming,'' he said.

He asked the state government to send a report on the implementation of dry land farming, which is mandatory. ''We are still awaiting the report,'' he said.

Further, it was pointed out to the Chief Minister that the state's growth rate was ''good'' but it was not reflected in social sector indicators.

The Planning Commission, however, praised Gujarat for transforming the entire scenario of agriculture through application of scientific measures as well as salutory improvement in the enrolment of girls in schools.

Mr Modi said the state government has targeted 2007 for achieving less than 1 per cent drop-out rate for girls.

Another scheme of the state government that came for praise at the meeting was 'Chiranjeevi' that aims at reducing the infant mortality rate. Under the scheme, the state government provides Rs 1,790 as healthcare expenses for expectant mothers in below poverty line families.

''We have asked the state government to send us the full details of the scheme so that it can be replicated elsewhere,'' said Dr Ahluwalia.

It was also suggested that public-private partnership should be encouraged in infrastructure and power generation.

The Commission took note of the fact that the state government was showing only 4 per cent of power consumption in the commercial sector saying it was ''unacceptable'' and showed that power was highly subsidised in the state.

On the other hand Mr Modi emphasised that the state government had ensured a three-phase 24-hour uninterrupted power supply for most of the villages. He also cited the instance of Godhra where power pilferage was around 95 per cent a year ago, but now had been substantially brought down.


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