Good showing gets Rajasthan 22 percent hike in plan outlay

March 21st, 2012 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Having exceeded its development targets, Rajasthan Wednesday got a 22 percent increase in plan outlay to Rs.33,500 crore for the next fiscal and asked the Planning Commission to hike funding for the next five year plan by 60 percent.

“Our last annual plan was Rs.27,500 crore. Now, it has increased to Rs.33,500 crore. We are happy with it,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said after a meeting with the plan panel led by Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as the other members of the Planning Commission have praised our achievements during the 11th plan. Our plan realization had been over 100 percent,” Gehlot told IANS.

The state plan allocation for the currenr fiscal was Rs.27,500 crore.

Gehlot said Rajasthan made substantial improvement on most of the financial and social development indicators during the past plan, and an increase in allocation will give it further boost to the state’s process of inclusive gro.

“Energy, water, power, education, road and development of other infrastructure would be the priority areas my government in the next five-year plan period,” the chief minister added.

During his meeting with the plan panel members, Gehlot requested for almost a 60-percent hike in the plan allocation for the state during the 12th Five Year Plan to Rs.1,94,283 crore, against an outlay of Rs.1,22,551 crore during this plan that ends March 31.

Ahluwalia indicated that the panel was likely to approve the proposed amount.

“Rajasthan has done exceedingly well in achieving the 11th plan numbers. We have given a substantial hike in annual allocation for 2012-13. For the 12th plan, we will finalise the allocation a little later,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Rajasthan — India’s largest state in terms of area — was also the first to get the approval for the annual allocation for 2012-13, which is also the first year of next Five Year Plan.

“I am very happy we started with Rajasthan — a state very close to us. It’s performance has been very good. The chief minister was complimented for that,” Ahluwalia said, adding its record in reducing poverty over the past five years was particularly laudable.

“The poverty level in Rajasthan has dropped from 34.8 percent in 2004-05 to around 24 percent in 2009-10 — a very substantial drop.”

Between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the state raised 42.8 lakh people above poverty line to log a decline of 9.6 percent.

Against the total national decline of people below the poverty line estimated at 5 crore, Rajasthan accounted for 8.6 percent.

At the meeting, Gehlot said Rajasthan’s tax revenue grew by 26.46 percent in 2010-11 which was also better than most states.

“Fiscal deficit has also been brought down to 2.2 percent of gross state domestic product in 2011-12.”

Gehlot said the state had identified 13 targets for the next plan which include removing imbalances between water demand and availability, improving employment opportunities and infrastructure deficit.

“The state will also work towards enhancing participatory planning and removing weakness in delivery system.”

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be reached at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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