THE STATE Government has pegged the next five-year plan (2007-12) at Rs 68,816 crore, a 204 per cent hike from the previous plan size (2002-2007) of Rs of Rs 33,724 crore. Prudent fiscal management coupled with hike in State share in Central taxes has enabled the State Government to more than double the plan outlay.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is scheduled to discuss the State’s 11th five-year plan with the Planning Commission of India officials in New Delhi on February 24.
Main thrust in the next plan is on agriculture and allied activities along with power and irrigation. Besides, four-time hike in horticulture sector budget is mooted.
As per the provisional figures, irrigation sector is set to get more than Rs 11,500 crore (expenditure on irrigation through NVDA schemes included) in the next plan.
“If growth rate in agriculture sector improves, State’s GDP would also show up significantly,” said Vice Chairman, State Planning Board, Sompal Shastri. He will also accompany the Chief Minister along with a team of officers to New Delhi for discussion with the Planning Commission.
Shastri told Hindustan Times that proper growth in agriculture sector could not be expected unless irrigation facilities improved. Hence the thrust on irrigation facilities.
“At present, agriculture is vastly dependent on rain gods in the State. We are trying to change this scenario by providing better irrigation facilities,” he added.
Shastri, who is a former member of Planning Commission, informed that outlays for power, road, education and health sectors along with welfare of SC/ST would also witness significant hike in the plan.
While the road sector is likely to have budgetary provision of over Rs 9,000 crore in the five-year plan, power sector would get over Rs 8,500 crore.
The State Government has also decided in principle to provide Rs 500 crore for development of rural roads. Budget for health services is likely to be pegged at Rs 941 crore. Fund for medical education would be increased almost four times to Rs 262 crore.
Civil aviation budget is being increased by eight times at Rs 256 crore and that of industries by almost three times. For water supply and sanitation, the State Government is planning to provide a chunk of Rs 1,918 crore for next five year. “The plan is to provide drinking water in all the uncovered villages by 2008 and partially covered villages by 2009,” Shastri added.