Health sector would help in human development
INVC NEWS Shimla, The annual plan size of Rs. 7100 crore for the year 2019-20 was approved in the meeting of State Planning Board held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, with an increase of Rs. 800 crore from the last year’s annual plan of Rs. 6300 crore, thereby registering an increase of 12.70 percent. The sectors which have been given added priority in the annual plan are social services sector, transport and communication, agriculture and allied activities, energy and irrigation and flood control etc. The Chief Minister said that an outlay of Rs. 3048.15 crore has been proposed for social service sector which is 42.93 percent of the total outlay. The funds allocated for education and health sector would help in improving the human development indicators and making the growth process in the State more inclusive. He said that transport and communication sectors are being given the second priority with proposed outlay of Rs. 1241.98 crore, which is 14.49 per cent of the total outlay. He said that this has been done to link feasible villages with motorable roads and maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Jai Ram Thakur said that third priority has been accorded to agriculture and allied activities sector with outlay of Rs. 877.25 crore have been proposed. This has been done keeping in view the fact that this sector provides direct employment to about 62 percent of the total working population in the State. He said that Rs. 711.06 crore has been proposed for energy sector, Rs. 457.48 crore for irrigation and flood control and Rs. 335.15 crore for general economic services while Rs. 133.89 crore has been proposed for other general services sector. He said that Rs. 133.65 crore has been proposed for rural development, Rs. 95.59 crore for industries and minerals, Rs. 38.02 crore for science technology and environment and Rs. 27.78 crore for special area programme. The Chief Minister said that out of annual plan size of Rs. 7100 crore an outlay of Rs. 1788.49 crore has been provided for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan for the implementation of schemes largely benefiting scheduled caste population. Similarly, 9 percent funds amounting to Rs. 639 crore have been provided under the Tribal Area Sub Plan which is aimed at development of the tribal areas of the State. He said that Rs. 80 crore has been allocated for backward area Sub Plan for development of the backward areas of the State. Jai Ram Thakur said that external aided projects worth Rs. 1217.82 crore have been proposed to be implemented in the sector of agriculture, horticulture, forests, minor irrigation, power, roads, tourism, technical education, rural water supply and urban development with the assistance of World Bank, Asian Development Bank, KFW and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Chief Minister said that during the short period of last one year the State has made remarkable progress in field of education, health, horticulture and social welfare sectors. He said that the per capita income at the current prices has witnessed an increase of 8.3 percent and has registered an increase for Rs.1, 46,294 in 2016-17 to Rs. 1, 58,462 in 2017-18. He said that Rs. 735 crore have been proposed under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) loan funding from NABARD. Under this a sum of Rs. 427 crore has been proposed for roads and bridges, Rs. 143 crore for rural water supply schemes, Rs. 125 crore for minor irrigation schemes, Rs. 40 crore for soil conservation and flood control etc. Vice Chairman, State Planning Board Ramesh Dhawala said that this planning meeting was vital for achieving the desired developmental goals for the year 2019-20. Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal thanked the members for giving valuable suggestions during the meeting. Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Anil Kumar Khachi said that all the initiatives made by the government for the year 2018-19 were being effectively implemented in the State. He said that the endeavour of the department was to ensure that the desired objectives were achieved in letter and spirit. Secretary, Planning Akshay Sood gave a presentation on the occasion. Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh, Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, MPP and Power Minister Anil Sharma, Agriculture and IT Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur and other members of the Board were also present in the meeting and gave their valuable suggestions. Additional Chief Secretaries Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Manisha Nanda, Ram Subhag Singh, Nisha Singh, Sanjay Gupta, Manoj Kumar and R.D. Dhiman, Director General of Police S.R. Mardi, Principal Secretaries Prabodh Saxena, J.C. Sharma and Onkar Sharma, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu, Secretaries and senior officers were present on the occasion amongst others.