The annual plan for Gujarat for 2012-13 was finalised on Friday at Rs. 51,000 crore at a meeting here between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The plan outlay marks an increase of 34 per cent over the previous fiscal year.
In fact, the plan size agreed upon was more than what was proposed by the State government. “We proposed a plan size of Rs. 50,000 crore, but the Commission thought that we can do well above that. They found it appropriate to fix the outlay at Rs. 51,000 crore,” Mr. Modi told the media after the meeting.
Initiating the discussion on the State's performance during the year gone by, Mr. Ahluwalia pointed out that while Gujarat has been registering robust growth, the human development indicators were not matching the pace of economic progress. He noted that more attention would be necessary for achieving sustainable growth in agriculture and for addressing the problems of malnutrition and school drop-out. The State, he said, would have to further promote public-private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development as the Centre was aiming at a 50 per cent share for private sector investment.
While lauding the State's plan performance, the Commission drew the government's attention to emerging trends in human development indicators. It was pointed out that the child sex ratio (0-6 years), though improved marginally by three points in Census 2011, is still low at 886 against the all-India average of 914. These figures are even lower than the State's average in districts such as Surat, Mehesana, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Anand, Amreli, Patan and Bhavnagar and these problems need to be addressed.
Likewise, the health sector is also in need of focused attention, Mr. Ahluwalia said. Besides, the share of agriculture and allied sectors in the GSDP (gross state domestic product) is steadily declining from 16.1 per cent in 2004-05 to 12.7 per cent in 2010-11.
Briefing the Commission, Mr. Modi said the State had an excellent track record of double-digit growth over the past several years and stood committed to provide better healthcare to the poor and vulnerable sections. Several successful initiatives had been taken during the Eleventh Plan to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates and for strengthening healthcare services.