Checking inflation focus of 12th plan, says Plan panel official

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: May 04, 2011 11:21 IST

Identifying inflation as a major challenge, the UPA government will come up with a new set of reforms to check it in the 12-five year plan starting from 2012-13.

Inflation crossed 18% mark in January 2011 making the government feel that keeping it under control will not be possible without systematic reforms in the food distribution and storage sector. Since April 2009, the inflation has increased by about 25%.

"Unless there is not a huge difference between the price farmer gets and at what the consumer buys checking inflation would be a difficult task," said Pranob Sen, principal advisor with Planning Commission, who has been given the task to formulate approach paper for the 12th plan.

While food to all through a re-structured Public Distribution System aimed at plugging leakages will be a reality in the 12th plan, the government will also target at taking agriculture infrastructure to the doorsteps for farmers. It includes cold storage chains and market access.

The commission has identified sectors where "well regulated markets are non-existent" and will come up with a strategy to create or improve markets in all sectors.

"The key would be providing access to farmers to markets all over the country," Sen said.

Another key area identified for improvement is enhancing skills and faster generation of employment.

"It is believed that India's economic growth is not generating jobs or livelihood opportunities," said a plan panel internal note on approach for 12th plan. "At the same time, many sectors face manpower shortages".

The panel also believes that there is a need to improve skills for both job market and for self-employment.

"We have to come up with modules to providing training to people who want to set up their own small business enterprises such a shops," Sen said.

Although attaining economic growth of more than 10% through mobilization of resources and efficient capital markets will remain a key objective, the 12th plan is expected to have serious of reforms to make the growth inclusive for poverty eradication, for providing quality health and education facilities.

The commission has identified inefficient transport sector as a major bottleneck for attaining higher economic growth and insufficient access to large national markets.

In the 12th plan will be a renewed focus on development of rural and urban multi-modal transport.

Sen said while the 12th plan will take ahead the work of the 11th plan the emphasis will be on having bigger impact on people of the Central government schemes


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