The Annual Plan for 2013-14 for the State of Jammu & Kashmir was finalised at a meeting between Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.
The plan size has been agreed at Rs. 7,300 crore. In addition, Rs 600 crore would be considered for PMRP (State Sector) projects. In addition, an amount of Rs. 3,000 crore is likely to flow from the Centre to Jammu & Kashmir through various Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Moreover, a special assistance of Rs 710 crore would be available from the central plan for PMGSY projects. Thus, taking all resources, Plan assistance from the Central Government to the State of Jammu & Kashmir is expected to be over Rs. 11,000crore during 2013-14.
In his comments on the plan performance of the State, 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. The State Government was particularly complemented for achievements in horticulture, education and health sector.
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. Promotion of heritage, adventure, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention. Many states have also taken important initiatives in Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the development of infrastructure, introducing in the social sector, i.e. health and education. The State Government of J&K was requested to take action in this regards as this would promote investment.
Ahluwalia requested the State Governments to come forward with the flexibilities they need in the guidelines related to centrally sponsored schemes to improve efficiency. He said the initiatives need to be availed in introducing innovativeness in the programmes.
It was pointed out that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rate of J&K during 11th Five Year Plan was only 6% which is lower than national average of 8%. Service Sector growth rate of J&K (9.5%) remains almost at par with the national average of 9.7% during 11th Plan. The State needs to step-up growth so as to catch up with all India average. Agriculture is a primary and traditional occupation which is vitally important for the balanced and sustainable growth of economy. The State needs to take advantage of on-going schemes like RKVY and NHM to nurture development of this sector.
Jammu & Kashmir has great potential in terms of natural resources which should be harnessed to generate sustainable growth and income opportunities for the people. Tourism, obviously, holds good prospects for the State. The State Government needs to prepare a comprehensive plan to improve high value tourism as well as religious tourism.
The Planning Commission appreciated the efforts made by the State to augment the State’s own tax revenue. As a percentage of GSDP, State’s Own Tax Revenue is about 6.7% in 2011-12 which needs to be further increased to balance the requirements for expenditure. Attention was drawn to the Power Sector deficit which has been affecting the State’s Own non tax revenue adversely.
It was pointed out that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) recently approved by the National development Council (NDC) has identified 25 monitorable targets reflecting the vision of rapid, sustainable and more inclusive growth during this plan period. One of the monitorable targets is generation of 50 million new work opportunities in the non-farm sector and skill certification of equivalent numbers during the 12th Plan. The State needs to ensure better performance of ITIs/ITCs by effective utilization of their seating capacities and ensure proper coordination among various line departments engaged in skill training.
The State is having around 30 habitations with water quality problem due to fluoride, iron and salinity which needs focused attention of the State Government. Further, 46% habitations are fully covered with drinking water facilities against the national average of 76%. The State Government should step up the efforts to cover 100% habitations with water supply facilities during 12th Plan under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).
Briefing the Commission on the strategy for the 12th plan, Omar Abdullah said that enhanced and inclusive development is a key component of the overall strategy to build on peace dividends. He thanked Planning Commission for sensitivity and positive support to Government of J&K.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.
He said against the target of 7.50% average growth rate in 12th Plan, Jammu & Kashmir has achieved a growth rate of 7.01% (A.E) at constant prices in 2012-13. GSDP at constant price is up from Rs. 40771 crore in 2011-12 to Rs. 43628 crore (2012-13) whereas Per Capita Income has gone up from Rs. 29215crore to Rs. 30889 crore (2012-13) up by 5.7%. (AGENCIES)