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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

UPA victory to ensure continuity in the planning process

PTI  New Delhi, May 17, 2009
First Published: 15:10 IST(17/5/2009) | Last Updated: 15:12 IST(17/5/2009)
The UPA victory will ensure continuity in the planning process during the remaining period of the ambitious 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), at a time when the economy is braving the global financial meltdown.

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Although the new UPA government will reconstitute the Plan panel, Commission is likely to retain the thrust of the Plan on social sector, health and education.

"Eleventh Plan initiatives will continue", Planning Commission Member Abhijit Sen said, adding, "Poll results will lead to huge confidence building among the masses."

Referring to the ambitious Plan growth target of 9 per cent, he said, "the GDP growth rate, which had been impressive, suffered a jolt due to the global economic meltdown and would recover as the world economy would revive".

Having recorded an economic expansion of 9 per cent in the first year (2007-08) of the 11th Plan, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate slipped to 6.5 to 6.7 percent (as per the RBI estimates) during the previous fiscal. Even during the current year, the economy is projected to grow by only 6 per cent making the target of achieving of 9 per cent a Herculean task.

"This is the first Five-Year Plan in the last 20 years, which is a social sector plan. As high as 30 per cent resources of the 11th Five-Year Plan has been allocated to the health and education sectors. Now virtual majority to the UPA shows that 11th Five Year Plan will be implemented in letter and spirit," said Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar.

He said, "In fact people voted the Congress to the power due to its 100 per cent commitment to a faster and more inclusive growth without any deviation from the path and I expect the social sector initiatives to continue. (The) Government would continue to accord top priority to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and schemes like Bharat Nirman and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan."

The Plan is all set to undergo mid-term review by the end of this year.

Referring to mid-term appraisal, the Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had recently said, "The mid-term appraisal will be done by the Commission after the new government takes charge." He had added that a format had been worked out to see the performance of states on some key flagship schemes.

Earlier Commission member Kirit Parekh had said it might go for a correction in the 11th Five-Year Plan targets as it gears up for mid-term assessment of goals next year in view of the global financial meltdown's impact on the economy.

"...Some moderation may be required (in the 11th Plan targets) because we lost two years or one-and-half years of growth due to slowdown," he had said, adding, "We have a tradition of taking a mid-term plan review, which is due next year,". He also added that, "I don't think there will be a radical overhaul."

The Plan envisages doubling agriculture GDP growth to around 4 per cent combined with policies to promote rapid growth in non-agricultural employment in order to create 70 million jobs in this period.

Other monitorable socio economic targets of the Plan included reducing educated unemployment to below 5 per cent, raising real wage rate of unskilled workers by 20 per cent and reducing dropout rates of children from elementary schools to 20 per cent by 2011-12.

It also included increasing literacy rate to 85 per cent and reducing infant mortality rate (IMR) to 28 and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to 1 per 1000 live births besides providing clean drinking water for all by 2009.


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