Shahzad Akhtar,,



The Annual Plan of Punjab for the year 2011-12 has been approved in a meeting between the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Prakash Singh Badal, here today. The Annual Plan size was agreed at Rs.11520 crores.

In his comment from the plan performance of the state, Mr. Ahluwalia said growth rate has shown a positive trend and substantial improvement in expenditure realization is noticed. He said the State has registered a growth in revenue but a lot more can be done to further improve fiscal health. He said there is need to curb losses in the power sector and innovative measures are needed to restore fertility of agriculture land.

He said Planning Commission would take up a pilot project for water recharging in the area which needs cooperation of the three north Indian States- Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Mr Ahluwalia invited views of the State Government on the approach to development during the 12th plan period. He said the Planning Commission would be shortly circulating a draft approach paper for response from the States.

The Minister of State for Planning, Mr Ashwani Kumar who is also Member Incharge for the State said that the Commission was concerned about the deterioration in the fiscal health of the State and would be looking for bringing in policy interventions needed to ensure improved fund flow to the State. He said the State needs a major change in approach to the socially important sectors of health and education and pointed out that even the Prime Minister is also keen on restoring Punjab back to the old glory. He suggested that the State should take policy initiatives to attract private participation in the development of social and physical infrastructure.

Mr Badal, the Chief Minister of Punjab outlined the plan priority during the year and said that top priority would be given to social services (34.03%) with thrust on education, urban development and pensions to the aged, handicapped and disadvantaged sections of the society. Energy sector with allocation of 30.11% and transport with allocation of 13.67% of total plan outlay are next in terms of priority. In terms of increase of outlay for 2011-12 the maximum increase has been in General Economic Service (192%). Agriculture and allied activities (58%) and social services (54%) and there is a 4% decrease in rural development.

Shri Badal urged the Government of India to wave of all agriculture loans as a one time measure regardless of the size of the holding. He said landless farmers and agricultural laborers’ should be brought within the gamut of the relief scheme.

He said the performance of the State in all sectors was outstanding. The State has jumped from the 14th position to the 3rd in the Educational Development Index and was rated as “excellent” in the health sector in the Government of India’s Common Revenue Mission of NRHM. It also received the best performance Award under National Food Security Mission for wheat in 2008-09.

He said Government of India should extend Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) up to Amritsar in Punjab and it should be linked with the western Freight Corridor. Eastern Freight corridor should also be extended up to Amritsar. He also requested for special package for agro based industries in the state.


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