North Gazette News/Shimla
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said that the government has proposed an annual plan of Rs 4800 crore for the year 2015-16 which is Rs 400 crore higher than the previous annual plan of Rs 4400 crore.
While presiding over the meeting of State Planning Board, Singh said that the government proposes to make provision of Rs 1209 crore under Schedule Caste Sub-Plan, Rs 432 crore under Tribal Area Sub-Plan and a sum of Rs 60 crore under Backward Area Sub Plan.
He said that the state government endeavours to accord priority to Social Welfare sector for the fiscal 2015-16 and had proposed an outlay of Rs 1,842 crore in its Annual Draft Plan which was 38.37 percent of the total plan estimates. Besides, keeping in consideration the importance of Transport and Communication sector, a sum of Rs 887 crore has been proposed which is 18.5 percent of the total plan outlay, he said.
Himachal government considering the importance of Energy sector as an important component of the development has proposed an outlay of Rs 642.20 crore which includes loan and equity to the Asian Development Bank assisted projects. In Horticulture and Agriculture sector the proposed outlay is of Rs 512 crore which was 10.7 percent of the total Plan outlay said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government had adopted its Election Manifesto as a Policy Document for ensuring and undertaking development in every sphere. He said that taking into account the various development needs in numerous sectors, the State Government took up the matter pertaining to financial allocation to the State with the newly constituted ‘National Institutions for Transforming India, (NITI) Ayog’ in an effective manner.
The Chief Minister said that in view of the changed scenario the mode of flow of funds from the Centre to the State was not clear therefore the plan allocations to various departments had been determined keeping in view the past trend of resource availability and priorities as this exercise was significant for preparation of Annual Budget 2015-16.
“ I had strongly advocated for constituting Hills State Division for the hilly States in two different meetings with the Prime Minister so that the State may find special mention while formulating the plan estimates for the five year plans” he said.
He said that though the State never received any instruction from the central Government on the draft preparation of its Annual plan yet the State Government went ahead as per the past practise for its Annual draft Plan for 2015-16.
He said that efforts should be made to create State’s own resources and stress should be on how to carry on with the resource mobilisation in better way. The Chief Minister also invited suggestion as how to better improve the State’s economy by mobilising the resources of the State.
Expressing his gratitude to the 14th Finance Commission, the Chief Minister said that recommendations of 14th Finance Commission have come as bonanza for Himachal which would get 232 per cent increase in allocation of funds.
He said that it was unfortunate that the 13th Finance Commission had made allocation a little over 50 percent to the State, which was around Rs 21,691crore. Had the State received the average increase of 126 per cent, Himachal would have received additional Rs 10,750 crore and it would have had comfortable cushion during the award period from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2015, said the Chief Minister.
The previous BJP Government could not present its case properly before the 13th Finance Commission and as a result, the Commission grossly underestimated the committed liability of the State Government. The 13th Finance Commission has not even given an equal treatment to the State despite the fact that preferential treatment to a Special Category State like Himachal Pradesh was required to be given by the Commission, alleged the Chief Minister. As a result, the State Government had to suffer on account of finances and on development front, he said, adding that even due to limited finance resources the pace of development never slowed.
The Draft Annual Plan of Rs 4800 crore was unanimously approved by the Board.