Saturday, March 23, 2013

Planning commission approves plan outlay of Rs. 40,500 crore for the annual plan 2013-14 of Rajasthan

Report by India Education bureau, Jaipur: The Planning Commission has approved outlay of     Rs. 40,500 crore for the Annual Plan of Rajasthan for the year 2013-14 which includes Rs. 60 crore as the one time central assistance. This annual plan is  Rs. 7000 crore (20%) more than the annual plan of Rs. 33,500 crore approved by the Planning Commission for the current financial year. 

So far it is the largest annual plan for the state till now. Social and community services have been accorded highest priority (38.10%) while energy sector has been given second priority (33.02%) in the annual plan 2013-14.  
The draft of annual plan was finalized after the discussion between Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot at Yojana Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday.

During the meeting with the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Shri Gehlot said a MoU has been signed between HPCL and Govt. of Rajasthan for setting up refinery in Barmer. It is a historic decision which would pave way for the direct investment of Rs. 37, 230 crores and indirect investment of        Rs. one lakh crores. The refinery will take the state on a new horizon and heights of economic development.

The Chief Minister said during the 11th Five Year Plan the average GDP growth rate of the state has been recorded 8.46 percent which is more than the National GDP growth rate i.e. 8.03 percent. Shri Gehlot said due to the efforts being made by the state government to provide transparent and sensitive governance expected improvement has been witnessed in the socio-economic infrastructure and unprecedented progress has been recorded in education and health. He said no sector has been kept untouched for the speedy and inclusive development in the state. With better fiscal management, good governance, concept of policy based development; basic infrastructure and development of social sector have been given special importance.

Special Category Status for the State:

The Chief Minister while raising the demand of special category status for the State he said states like Bihar have raised this demand now while this demand in not new from Rajasthan as the State has been demanding the special status when late Shri M. L. Sukhadia was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

He said Rajasthan, in area, is the largest State of India. The State shares 1040 km. long border with Pakistan which is very critical in terms of its strategic importance. The State has faced droughts and famines for 56 years out of the past 62 years. State’s 12 per cent population is tribal, which is largely scattered in hilly area that is difficult to approach. More than 60 per cent of the
State’s area falls under Great Indian Desert, the ‘Thar’. This desert region has 12 districts, wherein more than 40  per cent of the State’s population resides.

 This is a region with scattered population. The State’s population density is   201 persons per sq. km. according to the Census, 2011, which is much lower than the national average of 382. In Jaisalmer, the population density is mere  17 persons per sq. km.

The Chief Minister said the per capita cost of providing infrastructure and basic social services is quite high due to all these reasons, as compared to the normal areas. He said the State has been demanding the special category status through various stages. He strongly made the request of including Rajasthan in list of special category states keeping in view the special circumstances of the State.

Demand of Rs. 51,000 crore for Drinking Water in 12th Five Year Plan:
Shri Gehlot while attracting the attention of the Planning Commission said that keeping in view the grave problem of drinking water the State should be declared declaring the State as a Special Category State. He said to deal with the drinking water problem and for the villages and dhanis facing drinking water the state should be provided Rs. 51,000 crore in the 12th Five Year Plan.
He raised the demand that 90 percent central assistance instead of          50 percent under accelerated irrigation benefit programme. He also requested to provide 90 percent central assistance for micro irrigation schemes under accelerated irrigation benefit programme.

          Chief Minister also requested for early commencement of work for the proposed 4x700 capacity nuclear power project in Banswara. He also raised demand for allocation of coal and gas on priority basis for the power generation projects of 13990 MW capacity based on super critical technique. He also urged for immediate sanction of the power projects based on Lignite proposed by the Nayvelly Lignite Corporation (NLC).
He also raised demand for approval for schemes for electrification of dhanies with population 100-300 costing Rs. 1356 Crores. He requested for providing financial assistance for electrification of hamlets of population less than 100 and scattered populated area.
Karauli and Pratapgarh to be Connected with Rail Services:
          Shri Gehlot said the two district headquarters Karauli & Pratapgarh which are presently not connected with rail network may be given priority in the next plan. During the 12th Plan period all the meter gauze lines may be converted into broad gauze lines, he said. All the railway line crossing of less than 3 lakh Traffic vehicle unit, must   have  four lane railway over bridge in place of two lane and Railway Ministry may provided at least half of the share amount.
The Chief Minister also demanded that the financial assistance of Rs. 630 crore for Jaipur Metro Project and Rs. 1176 crore as viability gap funding (VGF) a total Rs. 1806 crore should be provided. He said out of the two Indian Institute of Urban Management Centre being proposed to be opened in the
12th Five Year Plan, one institute must be opened in  Rajasthan. All the essential facilities will be extended by the State for establishment such one institute, he said.
He also demanded that a new Eco Task Force Battalion may be established out of the fund of Green India Mission of centre and priority may be given for setting up a Mega Shelter Belt.
Shri Gehlot suggested that to eliminate the infrastructure deficiencies under the Right to Education Act, states should be provided with one time additional assistance for construction works. He said considering the higher cost of service delivery in the State’s geographical, desert and tribal regions, the financial support to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan should be amended to 90:10 from 65:35 for the State.
Chief Secretary Shri C. K. Mathew, Principal Secretary to CM Shri Shreemat Pandey, Finance Secretary Dr. Govind Sharma, Principal Secretary Planning Shri Rakesh Verma and other officials were present on this occasion.

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