State's five-year plan size may double

The State’s 11th plan (2007-12) size was pegged by the Planning Commission at Rs 1.01 lakh crore and is scheduled to end on March 31, 2012.

According to sources in the government privy to interactions with the Planning Commission on the process of preparing the 12th Plan, the State has also sought to substantially increase allocations to primary education and skill enhancement.
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the Approach Paper for the 12th Plan last Thursday which seeks to raise annual economic growth rate to nine per cent during the five-year period, up from 8.2 per cent estimated in the current plan. The Approach Paper would be placed before the National Development Council (NDC) for final approval on October 15 or 16. The NDC, the highest policy-making body of the country, is headed by the Prime Minister and its members include union ministers, members of the Planning Commission and chief ministers of all states.

Fixing the plan size and allocation for various sectors gains significance, as it is based on this platform that the State has to chalk out its developmental programmes in the budget for the next five years.

The plan size for the State for the budget year 2011-12 has been fixed at Rs 38,070 crore. This is expected to touch around Rs 45,000 crore next fiscal. The finance minister usually splits the plan under the heads of rural development, agriculture and allied activities, health and family welfare, industry and minerals, irrigation, education and urban development, among others. (see chart)

Planning, Programme Monitoring and Statistics Department Principal Secretary Sanjiv Kumar says the challenges are many in the planning process. The State government is left with a minuscule amount for development schemes with a majority of the funds going for salaries, pension and debt repayment among others.

For instance, despite recommendations from various national agencies and organisations since the fifth plan that the State should spend at least two per cent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) on public health, only 0.9 per cent is usually spent year after year, he points out. Only 10 per cent of the GSDP is usually available for the entire planning exercise for any fiscal.

In this context, the State is looking forward for public private partnership, especially for taking up infrastructure projects, Sanjiv Kumar says.

The 12th Plan comes at a time when the State, which had registered below national average growth rate during the last few years, has finally managed to come out of its economic sluggishness during 2010-11.

Boost in production
Increase in foodgrain production coupled with recovery of the manufacturing sector has resulted in the State registering a remarkable 8.2 per cent growth in its GSDP in 2010-11 compared to a lowly 5.5 last fiscal.

The State has also clocked a robust growth in agriculture sector at 5.7 per cent compared to 3.3 per cent last year.

In this background, officials of the State Planning Board, who are working on the draft 12th Plan for Karnataka, says the State is targeting to achieve a growth rate of 10 per cent, that is one per cent higher than the national average.

Other priority areas include to make the farmer self reliant and maintain the agricultural growth rate above six per cent. The State plans to achieve total literacy, besides ensuring access to basic services of health, education, drinking water and sanitation, the officials said.

The State also plans to create an environment to accelerate industrial development aiming at an industrial growth rate of 12 per cent, the officials added.

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