Jammu and Kashmir annual plan for 2013-14 finalized

New Delhi, July 9 (ANI): The annual plan for 2013-14 for Jammu and Kashmir was finalised today at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The plan size has been agreed at Rs. 7,300 crore. In addition, Rs. 600 crore would be considered for PMRP (State Sector) projects. In addition, an amount of Rs. 3,000 crore is likely to flow from the Centre to Jammu and Kashmir through various centrally sponsored schemes.

Moreover, a special assistance of Rs. 710 crore would be available from the central plan for PMGSY projects. Thus, taking all resources, Plan assistance from the Central Government to the State of Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be over Rs. 11,000crore during 2013-14.

Ahluwalia in his comments on the plan performance of Jammu and Kashmir complimented the Omar Abdullah 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 state government was particularly complemented for achievements in horticulture, education and health sector.

The Planning 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. Promotion of heritage, adventure, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention.

Many states have also taken important initiatives in Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the development of infrastructure, introducing in the social sector, i.e. health and education. The Jammu and Kashmir Government was requested to take action in this regards as this would promote investment.

Ahluwalia requested the State Governments to come forward with the flexibilities they need in the guidelines related to centrally sponsored schemes to improve efficiency.

He said the initiatives need to be availed in introducing innovativeness in the programmes.

It was pointed out that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rate of Jammu and Kashmir during 11th Five Year Plan was only 6 percent which is lower than national average of 8 percent. Service Sector growth rate of Jammu and Kashmir (9.5 percent) remains almost at par with the national average of 9.7 percent during 11th Plan. The state needs to step-up growth so as to catch up with all India average. Agriculture is a primary and traditional occupation which is vitally important for the balanced and sustainable growth of economy. The state needs to take advantage of on-going schemes like RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) and NHM to nurture development of this sector.

Jammu and Kashmir has great potential in terms of natural resources which should be harnessed to generate sustainable growth and income opportunities for the people. Tourism, obviously, holds good prospects for the state. The Jammu and Kashmir Government needs to prepare a comprehensive plan to improve high value tourism as well as religious tourism.

The Planning Commission appreciated the efforts made by the state to augment the state's own tax revenue. As a percentage of GSDP, State's Own Tax Revenue is about 6.7 percent in 2011-12 which needs to be further increased to balance the requirements for expenditure. Attention was drawn to the Power Sector deficit which has been affecting the State's Own non tax revenue adversely.

It was pointed out that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) recently approved by the National development Council (NDC) has identified 25 monitorable targets reflecting the vision of rapid, sustainable and more inclusive growth during this plan period.

One of the monitorable targets is generation of 50 million new work opportunities in the non-farm sector and skill certification of equivalent numbers during the 12th Plan. The state needs to ensure better performance of ITIs/ITCs by effective utilization of their seating capacities and ensure proper coordination among various line departments engaged in skill training.

The state is having around 30 habitations with water quality problem due to fluoride, iron and salinity which needs focused attention of the Jammu and Kashmir Government. Further, 46 percent habitations are fully covered with drinking water facilities against the national average of 76 percent. The Jammu and Government should step up the efforts to cover 100 percent habitations with water supply facilities during 12th Plan under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

Briefing the Planning Commission on the strategy for the 12th plan, oMAR Abdullah said that enhanced and inclusive development is a key component of the overall strategy to build on peace dividends.

He thanked the Planning Commission for sensitivity and positive support to his government.

He said the twelfth five year plan will focus on accelerated and sustained Growth, Growth-employment Linkage, Consolidation of Infrastructure, Empowerment of people and building of human and institutional capacities. The state would target a modest and realistic growth rate of 7.5% with focus on productive sectors and promoting private and public investment in the infrastructure sectors. Making growth inclusive by putting in place special component plans.

He said against the target of 7.50 percent average growth rate in 12th Plan, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a growth rate of 7.01 percent (A.E) at constant prices in 2012-13. GSDP at constant price is up from Rs. 40771 crore in 2011-12 to Rs. 43628 crore (2012-13) whereas per capita income has gone up from Rs. 29215 crore to Rs. 30889 crore (2012-13) up by 5.7 percent. (ANI)

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