The Annual Plan for the year 2013-14 for the state of West Bengal was finalised here today at a meeting between Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee. The plan size has been agreed at Rs.30,314crore.
In his comments on the plan performance of the State, Deputy Chairman appreciated performance and pointed out that utilization of central funds for flagship schemes has been good. Growth rate of 7.6 per cent has been achieved which is better than the national average. Internal revenue growth is also satisfactory. He said the efforts aimed at improving revenue growth must continue. The GSDP growth rate increased from 6.29% in 2005-06 to 7.67% in 2012-13. It was also significantly higher than the all India GSDP growth rate of 4.96% in 2012-13. The per capita Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) increased from Rs. 22649 in 2004-05 to Rs. 36505 in the year 2012-13.
It was pointed out that the State has the image of strong industrial centre and Planning Commission was keen to extend support in improving business regulatory environment, encourage cluster approach in facilitating better use of technology and for skill up gradation. It should also encourage garment industry which has great export potential.
Mr Ahluwalia said Planning Commission will shortly move for cabinet approval of its proposal to introduce flexibility in the implementation of flagship programmes. He said State Government should forward suggestions which are needed to make these schemes implementable in their State.
Ms Mamata Banerjee briefed the commission on plan performance and pointed out that achievements are better than the national average. She said agriculture and allied sector growth in 2012-13 is 2.56 % against national growth of 1.79 % during the same period. Industrial growth is 6.24 % against nation™s growth of 3.12 %. She said even revenue growth of 30% has been achieved with reforms introduced in tax administration.
She said the basic objective of the 12th Plan is faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth. Accordingly Social Service Sector has been allocated highest outlays. Sectors like Energy, Irrigation and Transport and Rural Development have also been accorded high priority in terms of financial allocation. Special area programmes have also been paid consideration as it is noted that significant part of the State is relatively more backward economically and removing regional disparities is a big challenge is the State.
Ms Mamata said special emphasis is being given to girl child through better educational opportunities and employable skill development. Regional imbalances are being corrected through targeted development in JangalMahal, Sunderbans, North Bengal and backward districts. She said the initiatives to promote specific industries having potential for MSME growth and employment generation like food processing, leather (tanning and leather goods manufacturing), textiles etc. is being be highlighted and properly incorporated in the Plan initiatives.
On agriculture sector, she said all time record procurement of 20.5 lakh MT of rice in kharif season has been achieved and godown capacity is being enhanced to 7.68 lakh metric tons from 48,000 metric tons. More than ten lakh beneficiary has been covered under kisan credit card for 2012-13.
On performance of the health sector, she said 33 fair p[rice medicine shops have been set up under public private partnership mode. 142 lifesaving drugs at prices ranging between 48 to 67 % less than MRP are being sold from these shops. She said 35 super speciality hospitals are coming up in 11 backward districts.