NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission on Tuesday fixed Nagaland's annual Plan for 2007-08 at Rs. 900 crore at a meeting between its Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Hailing the State for having achieved high growth rates in sectors such as agriculture and education, Dr. Ahluwalia noted that its socio-economic progress was also impressive. The State Government's efforts towards promoting biodiversity conservation and empowering village development committees were steps in the right direction, he said.
Dr. Ahluwalia asked the State Government to improve the tax base while pointing out that more districts of Nagaland would be covered under the rural employment guarantee programme.
Urging greater attention for programmes under "Bharat Nirman" and on improving the quality of education, the Commission asked the State authorities to reduce losses in the power sector as also the expenditure on salaries.
Briefing the Commission on the State's performance, the Chief Minister said the policies pursued during the last few years had helped in accelerating growth. The growth rate in agriculture, particularly horticulture, was encouraging and industrial houses such as Dabur and ITC had shown interest. Flowers were being exported and food grain production had gone up substantially, he said. Mr. Rio said efforts were on to balance the liberalisation process with social equity. The State's gross domestic product, he said, had been growing at an average of 11.2 per cent with the primary sector growth pegged at 15 per cent and secondary sector at 13.2 per cent. The per capita income was slightly over Rs. 21,000. The State, he said, would be aiming at a growth rate of 14.46 per cent for the Eleventh Plan.