The Annual Plan for the year 2013-14 for the state of Rajasthan was finalised here today at a meeting between Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot. The plan size has been agreed at Rs. 40,500 crore.
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Mr. Ahluwalia complimented the State Government for overall performance and pointed out that during 11th Plan the State has achieved the highest agriculture growth of 7.9 per cent against the national average of 3.7 per cent during the five year policy period. Overall growth was also better than many others. Mr Ahluwalia also commended the state™s efforts toward making itself a self-reliant in power sector and expressed hope that Rajasthan would be self-sufficient in power generation in not a year™s time. Rajasthan was also applauded by the Commission for its innovative policies for ensuring inclusive growth the state with reaching out to the beneficiaries of various social sector schemes.
He said water security is a major challenge for the State and very careful approach was needed to meeting future needs of the State. He said drip irrigation and recycling of used water was desirable and Government should work out strategy to meet this requirement. He offered Planning Commission support in working out a long term plan to meet water requirements. Initiatives aimed at empowering girl child and encouraging self-help groups was also appreciated.
It was pointed out that Rajasthan has been one of the best performing States in Agriculture sector with above 5 per cent growth in the Eleventh Five Year Plan. Rapid growth of agriculture is critical for inclusiveness since it is still the main source of livelihood for majority of the rural population. For sustaining the growth in agriculture sector more emphasis should be given to deteriorating quality of land and underground water, composite farming system in arid and semi-arid region and creating scope for diversification in cropping system.
It is commendable that the State Government has launched the Mukhya Mantri Nishulk Dawa Yojana under which more than 300 essential medicines are provided to the poor people at free of cost through around 15,000 drug distribution centres. In order to improve the health of child and mother Rajasthan Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana is being implemented in the State. But more substantial efforts and strategies are required by the State to improve health indicators.
Concerted efforts are needed to improve the literacy rate and eliminate gender and social gap in school enrolment by the end of Twelfth Five Year Plan by ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all segments of the society. The literacy rate of Rajasthan is 67.06 per cent as per the 2011 Census which is below the national average of 74.04 per cent.
Briefing the Commission on the performance of the State, Sh. Gehlot said that sound financial health has been achieved through innovative approach and focus of development strategy continues to be inclusive growth. He said during the past four years a number of social welfare schemes have been launched and various reforms have been introduced in the administrative system. PRIs have been further empowered with total transfer of funds, functions and functionaries of five major departments including agriculture, primary health care, elementary education, women and child and social justice & empowerment. Nearly 2500crores are being transferred to PRIs as untied funds.
He said the thrust area for the Twelfth Five Year Plan for Electronics and IT Sector is on e-Development of India through a multi-pronged strategy. This includes promotion of e-Infrastructure to facilities and fast track e-governance, promotion of software (IT-ITeS) industry, building knowledge network and securing India™s cyber space. Therefore, a suitable e-governance plan for the State may also be sketched and implemented by the State Government and re-engineering of the present processes for weeding out obsolete processes and procedures must be undertaken for implementing any e-governance project on priority basis.
The State Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach for socio-economic development of scheduled tribes in the State. It is appreciated that the State is giving importance to human resource development of tribal youth through education and vocational training, providing facilities like hostels, residential schools and multipurpose hostels up to college level in the Twelfth Five Year Plan period.
The Chief Minister invited Deputy Chairman at the inauguration of metro rail in Jaipur in June this year and pointed out that it has been constructed in a record time of less than two and half years with the support of DMRC.