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Mulayam to propose higher growth targets for UP

UP CM Mulayam will press the Centre to set higher growth rate targets and increase the size of the 11th Five Year Plan, reports Umesh Raghuvanshi.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2006 01:16 IST

As Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav speaks at National Development Council (NDC) meeting on December 9, 2006 he would have no choice but to put up a strong case for setting up higher growth rate targets and increase the size for 11th Five Year Plan for Uttar Pradesh.

A revised Approach Paper circulated to the various state governments proposing growth rate of 6.1 per cent for Uttar Pradesh has upset the state government.

National targets of projected growth rate are also being revised from 8.5 per cent to nine per cent. So, Uttar Pradesh would need higher growth rate to bring it at par with other developed states.

The chief minister is likely to assert that the state government expected to achieve six per cent growth rate target at the end of 10th Five Year Plan.

Hence, the target for 11th Five Year Plan should be much higher, said Principal Secretary Planning V Venkatachalam.

Chief Minister would obviously like that Uttar Pradesh should be given a target higher than national target of nine per cent to bridge the widening gap between per capita income of Uttar Pradesh vis-à-vis the national average.

As per estimates, nine per cent growth rate would only bring the gap down to 51 per cent while 12 per cent (nearly double of Centre's projections) would bring the gap down to 44.2 per cent to bring UP closer to other developed states.

The move to project four per cent growth rate in agriculture sector for UP has also upset the state government. It was in favour of setting six per cent growth rate target in the agriculture sector.

The chief minister would also like to refer to the issue of special package that the Centre has given to Uttaranchal.

The Centre's package was likely to end on March 31, 2007. Now the special package is being extended to another three years.

The state government does not favour the extension as this would lead to further flight of capital from Uttar Pradesh to Uttaranchal.

The chief minister would also strongly demand that the Centre should continue with present funding pattern for 'Education for all' project.

The Centre proposes to change the Centre-state funding ratio from 50:50 to 75:25. As this would entail additional burden of 25 per cent funds on the state government, the chief minister would oppose the Centre's move.

Significantly, the state government also proposes to set ambitious targets to bring down the rate of poverty, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and provide better infrastructure in health and other sectors.

It also proposes to increase the power generation capacity by 8000 MWs to 9000 MWs during the 11th plan period.

Out of this, power generation of about 6000 MW is proposed in private sector. If present availability of power of about 5000 MW were taken into account the power availability would reach nearly 14,500 MW against the projected demand of 12,000 at the end of 11th plan period in 2012.

There are also darker sides and the chief minister would obviously demand more flexibility to the state governments 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 being followed up to now.

Take the example of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The state government has been able to utilise nearly Rs 290 crore under the scheme against 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 sent, he said, adding that the chief minister would request the Centre to allow flexibility in such schemes.

About implementation of the NREGS, the officer said the implementation to satisfactory levels though efforts were needed to make people aware about scheme.