The Annual Plan for the year 2013-14 for the state of Haryana was finalised here today at a meeting between Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Haryana, Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The plan size has been agreed at Rs 27072crore. In his comments on the plan performance of the State, Mr Ahluwalia said the State’s GDP growth rate and per-capita income is amongst the highest in the country but more attention was needed to make growth more inclusive. He said the State is among the best performing State and has introduced a number of innovative initiatives to improve achievements in important sectors including health, education and infrastructure development.Mr Ahluwalia said in the agricultural growth the State has to focus more on horticulture, building storage capacities including cold storages and also adoption of modern agricultural practices to enhance productivity. Agriculture policy should focus on efficient use of water. He said the Commission was shortly seeking cabinet approval for restructuring centrally sponsored schemes so as to improve efficiency. More flexibility at State level is proposed. States should suggest measures needed to improve performance of central initiatives. An effort to encourage private participation in the development of social and physical infrastructure was appreciated. The State was advised to increase its water storage capacities either through new water storage structures or rehabilitation and repair of the existing water storages. The State Government needs to take up water saving agricultural practice like System of Rice Intensification (SRI), encourage the use of micro irrigation (drip and sprinkler) for efficient water use. Steps aimed at developing the urban and industrial centres with zero effluent discharge based on recycling and reuse of water was appreciated. Attention was also drawn to health indicators particularly to low sex ration. It was pointed out that the State has the lowest Sex Ratio at 877, woefully short of the national average of 940. Although the State has improved by 11 points in the Child Sex Ratio (0-6years) between 2001 and 2011, it is the lowest in the country at 830 points. The State Government was complemented for the initiatives to empower women and girl children like, Ladli Scheme. However, much more needs to be done to bring about a real and substantive change in this regard. Attention was drawn to the cases of violence against women and girl children and domination of Khap Panchayats, which is deeply disturbing. Briefing on State’s performance, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Hooda said, despite being a small state, Haryana contributes nearly 3.4% to the national GDP and has reached per capita income of about Rs. 1.24 lakh in 2012-13. During the last eight years, the State’s economy grew at an excellent average annual rate of 9.3%, significantly higher than the rate of growth of the national economy. The focus of 12th Plan would be broad-based but would target significant improvements in health outcomes, universal access to school , increased access to higher education, improved standards of education, including skill development and improvement in learning outcomes, and provision of basic amenities like water, electricity, roads, sanitation and housing etc. Special focus would, however, continue on the needs of the Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes, minorities, women and children. To achieve the objective of faster, inclusive and sustainable growth in the 12th Five Year Plan, the Social Service Sector has been given the highest priority. The second highest priority has been accorded to the development of infrastructure of irrigation, power, roads & road transport and projects under the economic stimulus package. He said the State Government has constituted the Haryana Infrastructure Development Board with the Chief Minister as its chairperson to encourage private sector investment in the infrastructure Development. He said the present system of budgetary classification of State outlays under Plan and Non-Plan is outdated and needs to be rationalized. He suggested that the Plan and non-Plan distinction may be done away with and the outlays may be classified as capital and revenue only as also suggested by the Rangarajan Committee. The recommendations of B.K.Chaturvedi Committee should be implemented at the earliest.