The Cabinet on Thursday approved the 12th five-year plan aimed at rejuvenating India's economy and infuse higher government funding for key social sectors such as health, education and sanitation.
47,70,000 lakh crore plan with
three-fold increase in plan size as compared to 11th plan and described as "ambitious" by finance minister P Chidambaram has set an average economic growth target of 8.2%, down from 9% envisaged earlier.
The plan had prescribed broad policy guidelines to revive the Indian economy, whose growth had fallen to 5.5 % in the first quarter in this financial year.
"We need to take credible steps to bring the fiscal deficit under control over a three year horizon. If we can achieve credibility in this objective, we will have created an environment in which investment will revive and growth will pick up. It will then be time to take up the many sector specific policies listed in the Plan," plan panel's Montek Singh Ahluwalia had told HT in an interview this week.
Chidambaram said the plan emphasis on speeding of the infrastructure projects and remove bottlenecks.
Ahluwalia emphasized that several steps have been taken to remove the bottlenecks and there would be acceleration in implementation of the infrastructure projects in second half of the current financial year.
The planning commission's document aims to attract US$1 trillion ( Rs. 55 lakh crore) private investment for the infrastructure sector in the 12th plan and reducing the subsidy burden of the government from over two% of the GDP to around 1.5% of GDP.
The plan also talks about giving subsidies in cash transfer form under Unique Identification (UID) platform.
"The plan aims to better delivery through UID," Chidambaram told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
The plan aims achieve 4% agriculture sector growth during 2012-17 along with reducing poverty by 10%age points during the plan period.
The document will now be placed before the National Development Council (NDC), the apex decision making body, for the final approval.
The NDC, headed by the Prime Minister with all chief ministers and Cabinet ministers on board, is the final authority to approve the five-year long policy document.
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