New Delhi, July 13 (IBNS) The Annual Plan for the year 2012-13 for the state of Jammu & Kashmir was finalised here on Friday at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The plan size has been agreed at Rs 7,300 crore.
In his comments on the plan performance of J&K, Ahluwalia complemented the State Government for restoring economic activity and focusing on the development of social and physical infrastructure.
He said the State needs to further encourage private participation by creating an atmosphere conducive to investment. Education, health and tourism should be given priority while working out development strategy.
He said the Planning Commission is keen to provide flexibility to the States in the implementation of the centrally sponsored schemes. This has been found to necessary to improve effectiveness of the central programmes.
He said the States should share their experience on implementation of centrally sponsored schemes with Planning Commission so that unwanted bottleneck can be taken care of in the next plan. He said States should introduce mechanism for periodic monitoring of the social sector programmes to improve pace of implementation. The State was also advised to improve resources of revenue.
The Commission pointed out that Tourism sector holds tremendous potential for boosting economic activities in the State by generating direct and indirect employment. Focus should be on development of infrastructure in a regulated manner through public and private partnership by extending incentives to the investor.
The Government should modifying the incentive rules for making these more vibrant and attractive. Promotion of heritage, adventure, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention, said the Commission.
Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the economy of the State. This contributes about 7-8% towards the GSDP. About 5 lakh families (27 lakh farmers) are involved with the Horticulture Industry directly or indirectly. An area of 3.06 lakh hectares is under fruit cultivation. Food processing should be encouraged to help horticulture producers getting better returns.
The State was advised to further accelerate the pace of economic development in the State, as there is need for building up of infrastructure like roads, power and tourism coupled with enhancing the provision for basic services such as; Health, Education, Drinking water supply etc.
There is also need for greater emphasis on employment and income generation, which in turn requires skill up gradation and development of Tourism and Industrial Sectors in the State. Attention was drawn to the gender gap in literacy and it was pointed out that as per the census 2011 the gap is 20.25% which is much higher than the national average of 16.68%. Sex Ratio (0-6years) has declined by 82 points from 941 (Census 2001) to 859 (Census 2011) which is a matter of concern.
Briefing the Commission on the strategy for the 12th plan, Abdullah said that enhanced and inclusive development is a key component of the overall strategy to build on peace dividends. He thanked Planning Commission and the Union Finance Ministry for their sensitivity and positive support to Government of J&K.
He said the major achievements of the State Government during the year include successful Panchayat Elections.
The challenge is now to meet enhanced peopleís expectations. The public Service Guarantee Act has been introduced in 6 Departments and 45 Services and positive results are already visible, he said.
The State Information Commission has been fully functional and the State is steadily moving towards transparency in governance. State Accountability Commission has been reconstituted and steps being taken to set up State Vigilance Commission, said Abdullah.
He said the twelfth five year plan will focus on accelerated and sustained Growth, Growth-employment Linkage, Consolidation of Infrastructure, Empowerment of people, & building of human and institutional capacities.
The State would target a modest and realistic growth rate of 7.5% with focus on productive sectors and promoting private and public investment in the infrastructure sectors making growth inclusive by putting in place special component plans, said Andullah.