Agriculture sector played a significant role in strengthening the economy
The State Government has decided to do away with the old system of Plan and Non Plan categorization for the Budget and have decided to start new system of Annual Development Budget instead of Annual Plan from the year 2021-22. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the State Planning Board Meeting held here today to approve Draft Annual Development Budget for the year 2021-22.
Chief Minister said that under the new mechanism all the four sub plans viz. General Plan, Scheduled Caste Sub Plan, Tribal Sub Plan and Backward Area Sub Plan would now be renamed General Development Programme, Scheduled Caste Development Programme, Scheduled Tribe Development Programme and Backward Area Development Programme respectively.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has made a provision of Rs. 9405.41 crore for the State Development Budget for the year 2021-22. He said that out of this Rs. 6096.70 crore i.e 64.82 percent has been allocated for General Development Programme, Rs. 2369.22 crore i.e 25.19 percent for Scheduled Caste Development Programme, Rs. 846.49 crore i.e. 9 percent for Scheduled Tribe Development Programme and Rs. 93 crore i.e. 0.99 percent of total allocation for Backward Area Development Programme. He said that although the names have been changed but there have been no decrease in the allocation for funds for development of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Areas.
Chief Minister said that the world economy was adversely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India and Himachal Pradesh was not an exception. He said that the timely steps taken by the Centre Government has put the derailed economy of the Country and State back on the track. He said that all this was possible due to the able leadership provided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the Central Government provided a financial assistance of Rs. 7161 crore to the State Government during the pandemic in form of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Atamnirbhar Bharat, during Lockdown and DISCOM.
Jai Ram Thakur said the State Government made an initiative to attract private investments in the State and organized Global Investors' Meet at Dharamshala. He said that MoUs worth Rs. 96,000 crores were signed by several renowned entrepreneurs. He said that the event was mega success as ground breaking ceremony of projects worth Rs. 13,600 crore was performed within one month of the Meet. He said that other projects worth Rs. 10,000 crore were ready for ground breaking. He said that the pandemic has an adverse impact on this endeavour of the State Government.
Chief Minister said the State Government has performed better in Ease of Doing Business by climbing to seventh rank from the 16th place. He said that agriculture sector played a significant role in strengthening the economy of the Country and State during the pandemic. He said that the V- Shaped growth in economy was a sign of relief for the country. He said that steps needed to be taken to create its own resources to generate income to the State and some harsh steps needed to be taken to check haphazard expansions. He said that now the focus must be on strengthening the existing infrastructure.
Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary urged to provide timebound approval to the industrialists to set up their units in the State. He said that steps must be taken to check illegal mining in the State, but at the same time provide mining lease to the people to promote scientific mining.
Vice Chairman State Planning Board Ramesh Chand Dhawala while welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries said all the members of the Board would give their valuable suggestions to make planning more beneficial for the people of the State. He said that people participation must be ensured for balanced development of the State.
Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, while presenting vote of thanks, said that the officers would ensure effective implementation of various policies and programmes of the State to ensure better facilities to the common people.
Vice Chancellor of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agriculture University Palampur Prof H.K. Chaudhary felt the need for adopting Smart Seed Village Concept. Vice Chancellor Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University Nauni Solan, Prof. Dr. Parminder Kaushal said that adequate funds be made for research and development works in the Universities.
Vice Chancellor of HP Technical University Prof. SP Bansal said that the State has to create its own USP to attract tourists in a big way to the State.
Vice Chancellor Cluster University Prof. C.L. Chandan said that the State Government must create facilities for the entrepreneurs who have invested in the State, to settle in the State. He also felt the need for global positioning of tourism in the State to make it a favourite tourist destination.
Non-Official Members of the Board viz Raj Kumar Verma and Anil Kimta also gave their valuable suggestions on the occasion. Additional Chief Secretary Home Manoj Kumar said that activity based income needs to be generated to make State financially sustainable. He also felt the need for product aggregation for which better warehouses need to be constructed.
Additional Chief Secretary J.C. Sharma said that steps must be taken to check tax leakages. Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that conditions must be created to motivate the affluent Himachalis not to move out of the State as this causes financial exodus.
Additional Chief Secretary Finance Prabodh Saxena made a detailed presentation on Global Challenges of Novel Corona Virus and steps taken by the State Government to meet these challenges. He said that the Virus has adversely affected the world economy. He said that to cope from this situation several steps were taken by the State Government. He said that about Rs 450 crore interest free loans were provided by the Central Government.
He said that Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme of the Union Government provided much needed relief to the people of the State during the pandemic. Advisor Planning Dr. Basu Sood welcomed the Chief Minister and conducted the proceedings of the meeting. Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Sarveen Chaudhary, Technical Education Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar, Industries Minister Bikram Singh, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Heads of Department attended the meeting whereas Deputy Commissioners joined the meeting virtually from their respective districts.