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J&K receives highest ever Rs 7300 Cr annual plan for 2012-13
PCI also approves Rs. 700 Cr PMRP but plan laced with ‘advice’
NEW DELHI, July 13: The Planning Commission of India (PCI) today approved the highest ever Rs. 7300 Crore Annual Plan for Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2012-13. Yet this step-up of 10 percent over the last financial year’s plan came with a piece of advice “to further accelerate the pace of economic development in the State, as there is need for building up of infrastructure like roads, power and tourism coupled with enhancing the provision for basic services such as health, education, drinking water supply etc.”

PCI also approved Rs 700 Crore PMRP (Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme), besides agreeing to provide additional Central resources of Rs 6384 Crore – Rs 4400 Crore as a Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Rs 1984 Crore as Special Plan Assistance (SPA) to finance the approved Annual Plan.

However, this too came with yet another advice which found reflection in the official release issued by PIB in the union capital. As per the release, the Deputy Chairman of PCI said his Commission was keen to provide flexibility to the states in the implementation of the centrally sponsored schemes. “This has been found necessary to improve effectiveness of the central programmes. The states should share their experience on implementation of centrally sponsored schemes with Planning Commission so that unwanted bottleneck can be taken care of in the next plan. The states should introduce mechanism for periodic monitoring of the social sector programmes to improve pace of implementation. The State is also advised to improve resources of revenue,” he said.

Yet another caution for the state from PCI was that there was also need for greater emphasis on employment and income generation, which in turn required skill up gradation and development of tourism and industrial sectors in the state. Attention was drawn to the gender gap in literacy and it was pointed out that as per the census 2011 the gap was 20.25 percent which was much higher than the national average of 16.68 percent Sex Ratio (0-6years) declined by 82 points from 941 (Census 2001) to 859 (Census 2011) which was a matter of concern.

The approval to the annual plan by PCI was given at a meeting in New Delhi between Chief Minister Omar Abdullah led state team and Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India.

Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rahter, Minister of State for Planning, Dr. Manohar Lal, Members of Planning Commission of India, J&K Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Planning, B. B. Vyas and various Administrative Secretaries were present in the meeting.

The official statement issued from J&K Information Department said the Commission broadly endorsed the priorities of the state government reflected under the Twelfth Five Year Plan (TFPY).

Meanwhile the statement issued by Press Information Bureau from New Delhi said, “In his comments on the plan performance of the state, Ahluwalia complimented the state government for restoring economic activity and focusing on the development of social and physical infrastructure. He said the state needs to further encourage private participation by creating an atmosphere conducive to investment. Education, health and tourism should be given priority while working out development strategy.”

The Commission pointed out that tourism sector holds tremendous potential for boosting economic activities in the state by generating direct and indirect employment. Focus should be on development of infrastructure in a regulated manner through public and private partnership by extending incentives to the investor. The government should modify the incentive rules for making these more vibrant and attractive. Promotion of heritage, adventure, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention.

“Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the economy of the state. This contributes about 7-8 percent towards the GSDP. About five lakh families (27 lakh farmers) are involved with the Horticulture Industry directly or indirectly. An area of 3.06 lakh hectares is under fruit cultivation. Food processing should be encouraged to help horticulture producers getting better returns,” the Commission said.

On the other hand, a J&K government spokesman said that making a strong case for enhanced financial support to Jammu and Kashmir state under the Twelfth five year plan (TFYP) and Annual Plan 2012-13, the Chief Minister underlined the importance of this support for inclusive and broad based development of the state to build on peace dividends and reach out to people in all regions and sub-regions of the state equitably,

In the presentation made at the meeting with Planning Commission of India, Omar threw light on landmarks achieved by the coalition government in last over three years despite various challenges on law and order front and said that empowered panchayats and democratically elected urban local bodies would be the main vehicles of delivery of plan objectives.

Chief Minister listed some of the significant achievements such as holding of successful panchayat elections, rolling out of powers to panchayats, enactment and implementation of Public Service Guarantee Act, constitution of State Information Commission and strengthening of State Accountability Commission. It was mentioned that steps were underway to set up State Vigilance Commission.

On Plan performance, Omar said Jammu and Kashmir achieved growth at 6.78 percent in 2011-12 as compared to 6.63 percent in the year 2010-11. He said that tax growth had been 34 percent last year. The average annual growth across the plan period was of the order of 6.20 percent. He said delivery across Eleventh Five Year Plan (EFPY) had been around 95 percent while the expenditure under the last year’s plan stood at 96.58 percent.

Omar said outcomes during EFYP period had been extremely encouraging particularly in the social sector. The Chief Minister substantiated his statement with facts and figures, said the official release.

He observed that female literacy rate increased by 15 percent while enrolment in higher education increased from 0.95 lakhs in 2007-08 to 1.19 lakhs in 2011-12.

Chief minister said massive expansion took place in education sector. He said 10792 primary schools opened under SSA, 513 middle schools upgraded under RMSA, 45 degree colleges established and 22 degree colleges had been accredited by NAAC. He also referred to the opening of two central universities and 11 off-site university campuses adding that these would give further impetus to higher education.

Chief minister also detailed initiatives taken for skill development through State and Centrally sponsored schemes and referred to the vast expansion Made in the technical education sector by establishing new polytechnics, ITIs and increased intake capacity by 7500 seats in technical institutions.

On Twelfth Five Year Plan projections, the chief minister said that focus had been concentrated on accelerated and sustained growth in economy, development of employment linkage, consolidation of infrastructure, empowerment of people, reduction in wastages, building human and institutional capacities and skill development. He said to achieve the realistic growth rate of 7.5 percent productive sectors had been flagged as an important concerns. He said private and public investment in the infrastructure sector making growth inclusive through special component plans, conservation of ecology and environment, upgrading production and marketing of local products through design improvement technology and market interventions and special employment initiatives for gainful employment to youth are other areas of attention.

Omar said time bound completion of power projects to ensure additional power generation of 3100 MWs and reduction of AT&C losses by 25 percent had been made the benchmark in power sector.

Chief minister said creation of additional irrigation potential of 3.17 lakh hectares and enhancement of existing seed replacement rate to the national average had been envisioned in TFYP to achieve 3.67 percent growth in agriculture. He said irrigation facilities for additional one lakh hectares by extension canals from Ranjit Sagar Dam and digging of 2000 tube wells to enhance horticulture and agriculture activities over an area of 40,000 hectares was yet another target to be achieved. He said about 1.49 lakh additional hectares of land would be covered under flood protection programme.

Omar said coverage of all left out 2773 habitations had been targeted to be achieved under drinking water schemes. He said 1213 water supply schemes had been identified for completion during the five year period to increase household connections from 35 percent to 50 percent.

Chief minister said all habitations with 250 population would be covered by roads, all children in the age group of 6-14 to be enrolled in schools, 36.8 lakh persons to be provided 100 day employment under MGNREGA besides creating 6.40 lakh job opportunities for youth through various plan initiatives.

Annual Plan 2012-13:-

The Chief Minister projected Plan size of Rs. 7300 Crore for the year which shows an increase of 10 percent over last year’s plan.

He said Rs. 6374.18 Crores constituting over 96 percent of approved outlay Rs. 6600 crores had been utilized during the last fiscal while expenditure under PMRP was of the order of Rs. 439.58 Crores.

On road connectivity, Omar Abdullah said that 50 percent of the total network of 26715 kilometers of roads had been black topped of which 3077 kilometers were black topped last year and 3100 kilometers provided WBM while a target of 3150 kilometers BT and 3200 kilometers WBM has been fixed for 2012-13. He said 45 bridges have been completed last year and 50 bridges would be completed this year. Four CRF schemes had been completed last year and 12 were being completed this year. As many as 133 PGSY schemes benefitting 239 habitations and covering 872 kilometers had been completed while 300 PMGSY schemes to benefit 250 habitations and cover 1805 kilometers had been targeted for the current fiscal.

On Water Supply, Chief Minister said that 860 water supply schemes had been completed in last year to benefit 3648 habitations. He said 10820 hand pumps and 47 deep tube wells for kandi and drought prone areas drilled last year besides setting up 35 water testing labs. During the current fiscal 1253 habitations were being covered under safe drinking water supply programme besides providing drinking water to additional 2000 schools and installing 3000 hand pumps.

On Tourism sector, Omar Abdullah said that thrust had been laid on building capacities in private sector to cope up with growing tourist arrivals. He said pilot projects on eco-tourism and craft and culture based tourism were being launched. He referred to the new initiatives taken to attract tourists which include Maqdoom Sahib Chair Lift, Light and Sound Show at Hari Parbat Fort, Shalimar Garden and Lyser Show in Dal Lake, Art and Craft Haat at Chinar Bagh, Border Tourism at Suchetgarh, R. S.Pora and 18-hole Sidhra Golf Course.

On Renewable Energy, Omar Abdullah said that DPRs for 19 mini hydro power projects had been prepared, of which six were being proposed under IPP mode. He said that DPR for 8 MW Wind Power Project at Bidda (Reasi) stood submitted to NNRE for approval. Eight district level energy parks had been set up and installation of 200 solar power plants in various health and education institutions besides providing 10000 solar lanterns to Gujjar and Bakerwals and distribution of 55507 HSL to the general public for other programmes under execution.

On Power Sector reforms, Omar Abdullah said that unbundling and corporatization of T&D sector were underway. He said orders for creation of TRANSCO and Distribution Company had been issued. Metering of 1.36 lakh consumers in 30 towns had been targeted for the current year. He said that under RGGVY 1775 habitations had been covered and 45267 BPL households had been provided electric connection under this scheme. He said collection efficiency had been increased and total revenue collection achieved during last financial year was of the order of Rs. 1203 Crores as against Rs. 950 crores in 2010-11. He said that AT&C losses had been reduced from 70 percent to 67 percent and total load regularized and added counts for 214 MWs.

The Chief Minister said that TERI identified measures for sustained reduction of T&D losses from 62.87 percent in 2009-10 to 24.62 percent in 2018-19 with a total investment of about Rs. 7384 crores. He said that a proposal for covering 288 towns and urban areas under R-APDRP programme had been submitted to the Union Power Ministry.

On Health sector, the Chief Minister said that 36 health projects had been completed during 2011-12, 7 Nursing Schools and one Unani College started, drug policy approved, Rashtriya Bhima Yojana launched and 66004 BPL families for benefited under the scheme. He said 165 infrastructure works were being completed during this fiscal while two new 200-bedded maternity hospitals, 4 nursing schools and Ayurvedic college are being taken in hand shortly.

The Chief Minister also threw light on the achievements of the government on other sectors including social welfare, urban development, agriculture, horticulture, technical education, industries, handicrafts, handlooms and skill development.

News Updated at : Saturday, July 14, 2012
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