NEW DELHI: The Annual Plan for Puducherry for the fiscal year 2010-11 was finalised at Rs. 2,500 crore at a recent meeting here between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of the Union Territory, V. Vaithilingam. The plan outlay includes an additional Central assistance of Rs.50 crore for specific projects.
Initiating the discussions, Mr. Ahluwalia lauded the government's development efforts for improving the Union Territory's social and physical infrastructure and noted that it should work towards early completion of the ongoing infrastructure projects. Alongside, the private sector should also be encouraged for more pro-active participation in building infrastructure facilities related to tourism and water sports, he said.
The Puducherry government's performance, it was pointed out, is reflected in the growth of the Union Territory's gross domestic product (GDP) which has increased from Rs.3,235 crore to Rs.8,110 crore at constant (1999-2000) prices.
Participating in the discussions, Minister of State for Planning V. Narayanasamy said that Puducherry should take pro-active measures for development of the services sector in view of its enormous potential for economic growth and employment opportunities and stressed the need for increased private sector participation in human-related services.
While pitching for a shift to horticulture, floriculture, inland fisheries and cottage industry, he noted that a natural resource- based integrated farming system model with crop diversification and livestock integration should also be promoted.
As for the poverty level of Puducherry, Mr. Narayanasamy pointed out that it was lower than the national average both in urban and rural areas with rural poverty estimated at 22.9 per cent, urban poverty at 22.2 per cent and total poverty at 22.4 per cent.
On the industrial front, units in the unorganised sector have grown remarkably as the government has been following a lean and efficient policy for both the organised as well as the unorganised sector.
Briefing the Commission on Puducherry's plan performance, Chief Minister Vaithilingam said that despite limited resources every effort has been made to make the Union Territory a well-developed place with all basic amenities for the people.
New avenues of revenue generation were being explored to make the pace of development more sustainable, he said.