Rs 11k Crore Plan Assistance For J&K This Fiscal

Rs 11k Crore Plan Assistance For J&K This Fiscal

9 July 2013
Times of India


New Delhi: The plan size for Jammu & Kashmir was finalized at Rs 7,300 crore for 2013-14. An amount of Rs 3,000 crore is expected to flow from the Centre to the border state through various Centrally-sponsored schemes in addition to the plan outlay. Also, a special assistance of Rs 710 crore would be available from the Central plan for Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana projects, along with Rs 600 crore that would be considered for PMRP (state sector) ventures. Hence, the total plan assistance from the Centre to the state is expected to be over Rs 11,000 crore during the current fiscal. The plan size was finalized at a meeting between Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah. Ahluwalia lauded the state government for restoring economic activity and focusing on the development of social and physical infrastructure. Asking the Abdullah government to give priority to education, health and tourism while working out development strategy, he said the state needs to further encourage private participation by creating an atmosphere conducive to investment. Plan panel pointed out that tourism sector holds tremendous potential for boosting economic activities in the state by generating direct and indirect employment. 'Promotion of heritage, adventure sports, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention,' the Commission said. It was pointed out that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rate of the state during 11th Five Year Plan was only 6%, which is lower than the national average of 8%. 'The state needs to step up growth to catch up with all India average,' an official said. The Commission appreciated the efforts made by the state to augment the state's own tax revenue. As a percentage of GSDP, the state's tax revenue is about 6.7% in 2011-12 that needs to be further increased to balance the requirements for expenditure. Attention was drawn to the power sector deficit that has been affecting the state's non-tax revenue adversely. At the meeting, Abdullah said that enhanced and inclusive development is a key component of the overall strategy to build on peace dividends. He said that 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.