WHEN CHIEF Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav addresses the National Development Council (NDC) meeting on December 9, he will have to put up a strong case for setting up higher growth rate targets and increase the size for the 11th Five Year Plan for Uttar Pradesh.
In the revised Approach Paper, a growth rate of 6.1 per cent has been set for Uttar Pradesh. This has upset the State Government.
The State Government feels that when the national projected growth rate has been revised from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent, UP also needs a higher growth rate to be at par with other developed states.
The CM would assert that the State Government was expected to achieve 6 per cent growth rate at the end of 10th Five Year Plan and the target for the 11th Five Year Plan should be much higher, said principal secretary Planning V Venkatachalam.
The Chief Minister would obviously like that UP should be given a target higher than the national target of 9 per cent to bridge the widening gap between per capita income of the State and the national average.
The projected 4 per cent growth rate for UP’s agriculture sector has also upset the State Government as it favoured a target of 6 per cent.
The CM would also like to raise the issue of Centre’s special package to Uttaranchal. The Centre’s package was likely to end on March 31 next. Now, it is being extended by another three years.
The UP Government is opposed to the extension as this would lead to further flight of capital from the State to the hill State.
As for the ‘Education for All’ project, the CM would also ask the Centre to continue with the present funding pattern. The Centre proposes to change the Centre-State funding ratio from 50: 50 to 75: 25.
Significantly, the State Government also proposes to set ambitious targets to arrest poverty and bring down the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). It also plans to offer better infrastructure in health and other sectors.
On the power front, the government proposes to increase generation capacity by 8000 MW during the 11th Plan period. Out of this, about 6000 MW power is to be generated in the private sector. If the present availability of power of about 5000 MW was taken into account, power availability would reach nearly 14500 MW against the projected demand of 12000 at the end of 11th Plan period in 2012.
The Chief Minister would also demand more flexibility to ensure that more Central funds were used. According to a senior officer, UP’s dismal performance in some sectors was only because of cumbersome process involved in getting the go-ahead for projects.
Take the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The State Government had been able to utilise nearly Rs 290 crore under the scheme against an allocation of Rs 600 crore, said a senior officer adding that on many occasions the roads proposed under the scheme were constructed from other schemes by the time the Centre cleared the State Government’s proposal.
Under such situations, a revised proposal was send, he said adding that the Chief Minister would request the Centre to allow flexibility in such schemes.