The plan outlay for Tamil Nadu for 2012-13 has been fixed at Rs.28,000 crore, an approximate 19 per cent increase than that of for 2011-12 (Rs.23,535 crore), but Chief Minister Jayalalithaa expressed her unhappiness on the outcome saying that her government’s plea for the special and additional assistance from the Centre were not met.
Talking to journalists here on Monday, before leaving for Chennai after she and her team held discussions with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr. Montek Singh Ahulwalia and his officers at Yojana Bhavan, Ms. Jayalalithaa said: “... but here, out of these Rs. 28,000 crore only Rs. 3,000 crore is from the Centre. The rest of it is Tamil Nadu’s own money. We have asked for the special and additional assistance under various heads but that were not forthcoming. So what this entire exercise amounts to is that we have come all the way to Delhi to have discussions and meetings with the Union Planning Commission, so that they can tell us how to spend our own money”.
While TN government was remedying its fiscal situation, substantial financial support was required from the Centre for the raised investment needs of the State’s 12th Five Year Plan. “Unfortunately, the 11th Plan has shown disappointing trends. The Centre should liberally support the projects, taken up by TN government through viability gap funding,” she said.
Earlier addressing the Planning Commission, Ms. Jayalalithaa claimed that her government’s prudent fiscal management strategies had reversed the dismal outlook and TN had returned to a situation of revenue surplus in 2011-12 and the fiscal deficit as a percentage of GSDP had been contained at 2.85 per cent. The latest estimates of the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) placed the economic growth rate of TN for 2011-12 at 9.39 per cent much above the national average of 6.50 per cent.
About her government’s proposals, she said 15 new medical colleges, attached to the government district hospitals, would be established and the 17 existing medical colleges-cum-district hospitals upgraded to international standards. Two Medi-cities would be created with a mission to serve the medical tourism industry covering investments in the hospital and education facilities, logistics and hospitality services. To reduce the dropout level further, the government would give a special monetary incentive to all the students studying in 10th and 12th standards in the government and government-aided schools. This scheme was expected to benefit 24,94,649 students with an annual outgo of Rs. 394.04 crore.
Special efforts taken by her government in agriculture had yielded encouraging results with the area under food grains being extended by 24 per cent over 2010-11 and the production increased by as much as 40 per cent. TN would usher in a second green revolution by enhancing agriculture productivity and multiplying farmers’ income. This will require massive investment in the primary sector, she said.
The ambitious goal of the 12th Five Year Plan could be achieved only when good performers (read present TN government) were adequately rewarded through more funds and flexibility in the implementation of various programmes.
Mr. Ahluwalia commended TN for its “impressive” record of improvement in human development indices and growth in services sector. The per capita income levels had gone up in TN since independence as a consequence of sustained GSDP growth. “In most of the cases Tamil Nadu has better social indicators than the national average,” he pointed out.
Appreciating the TN government’s efforts to make growth truly inclusive, Dr. Ahluwalia added that the bold and innovative decisions taken including power tariff revision were steps in the right direction. He wanted leading State’s like TN should attract knowledge based investment and for this purpose focus should be on further improving the quality of education.
The Commission appreciated that TN had shown improvement in both overall sex ratio (from 987 to 995) and child sex ratio (from 942 to 946) during 2001-2011. The State was at the 5th place among the major States in the country in terms of child sex ratio.