State Planning Commission prepares draft approach paper

Aiming at a higher level of sustainable economic growth, four per cent growth rate in agriculture and promoting rapid growth in the manufacturing sector are among the broad objectives of the State government during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017), which will begin in April next, according the draft approach paper prepared by the State Planning Commission (SPC).

The document, available on the Commission's website (http://www.tn.gov.in/spc/), talks of the aim of the government to achieve double digit growth rate at the end of the 12th Plan period. It also refers to putting the 12th Plan through the “gender lens” in all sectors in consonance with “the sentiments, vision and firm commitment of the Government at the highest level” as the gender gap in literacy is 12.9 per cent. One of the proposed strategies of the government in the next Plan period will be to build a sound economy in the State on the basis of sustainable principle of low carbon, low or zero wastage and high productivity.

A senior official in the Commission says that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has advised the SPC to ensure that the process of planning should go to the level of rural habitation so that economic growth is much more inclusive. In her interaction with officials of the SPC, the Chief Minister has emphasised the need for increasing substantially – two to three times in five years - farm-level income of farmers.

The draft Approach Paper reflects the concern of the government over the declining share of agriculture in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Tamil Nadu, as agriculture still provides livelihood to nearly 45 percent of the people. The sector's share has eroded to 8.2 per cent of GSDP in 2010-2011 from 11.1 percent in 2004-2005.

Conscious of the importance of the rejuvenated primary sector in creating “ripple effect” on the society in general, the State government is planning to adopt strategies such as developing crop cultivation matrix specific to agro climatic zones and encouraging wasteland agro-forestry and planted forestry through the modes of public-private partnership (PPP) and cooperative institutions. In the area of animal husbandry, the government's strategies include bringing the landless labourers and marginal farmers into the fold of organised livestock rearing for increasing farm income.

Industrial sector

Estimating that the State's industrial sector is likely to record a growth rate of around 4.7 per cent (at 2004-05 prices) during the 11th Plan period against the target of 9.2 per cent, the document has spelt out measures to be undertaken by the government to correct the trend and give a fresh impetus to the sector. Among the proposed measures are specific policies for bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, automobile, and renewable energy; a mutually beneficial and partnership-based land policy for acquisition of land for industrialisation and a new e-Governance policy to enhance productivity levels within government.

Energy

In the area of energy, the government has planned to make the electricity distribution system financially viable through rational pricing, bringing in modern systems of management, greater use of information technology, enforcement of accountability and privatisation or franchising.

In the field of higher education, the government has chalked out plans for granting autonomy to Higher Education institutions; revitalise and reorganise the State-Level accreditation institution with international standards and streamline the appointment of vice-chancellors.

One of the strategies in health is going to be to make medical colleges responsible for health services of a defined population or community including tribal /underserved areas in their vicinity.

The government is keen on ensuring equal opportunities for men and women; raising women's literacy and status; reducing the gender gap, countering the menace of female infanticide and creating important avenues for the care and protection of orphaned, abandoned, destitute and neglected children, the draft document adds.

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