The Annual Plan for the year 2013-14 for the state of Meghalaya was finalised here today at a meeting between Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Sh. Mukul Sangma. The plan size has been agreed at Rs. 4151 crore.
In his opening comments Mr. Ahluwalia appreciated the efforts of state government in expediting pace of development. He said performance in financial management is good and achievements in human development index are satisfactory. Meghalaya needs to focus more on high dropout rates. Mr Ahluwalia said the Commission intends bringing about more flexibility in the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes and a cabinet approval in this regard was expected shortly. He said the proposal has proposed considering state specific amendments in the guideline of these schemes for two years. This would ensure efficient implementation of central initiatives.
Mr Ahluwalia said a Committee under Secretary Planning Commission is being set up to ensure timely release of funds to Meghalaya under various central programmes. It was pointed out that the GSDP at constant (2004-05) prices of Meghalaya has increased by 84.05% from 2004-05 to 2012-13, while, the national GDP increased by 85.21% for the same period. The per capita NSDP at constant (2004-05) prices of Meghalaya has increased by 65.54% from 2004-05 to 2012-13 which is higher than the increase in national per capita NNI of 62.13% for the same period.
The state was advised undertake academic and governance reforms in the higher education system. Also the details regarding the enrolment in public and private institutions, investment in private sector and any initiative on PPP mode needs to be provided. The state may prepare a comprehensive strategic plan indicating the measures and interventions for development of higher education and consolidation of existing institutions in the state. The State Government was advised to take necessary policy initiatives for further strengthening industry sector. Effort should also be made to fully exploit immense tourism and art and craft potential. Planning Commission also advised the State Government to make full use of Science and Technology in improving pace of development. State should also encourage public private partnership in all sectors of economy. The State should provide special focus on the integrated water resources management, basin planning, water quality, monitoring and management.
Briefing the Commission on the achievements, Mr. Sangma said between 10th and 11th plan period the food grain production has gone up to 3.19 lakh MT from 2.70 lakh MT while horticulture production is 5.22 lakh MT against 3.97 lakh MT. He said literacy rate is 75.48 against 62.6 in 10th plan and 81% of villages have been electrified while only 54% of household have been electrified. The cash deposit ratio of Commercial Banks between the plan has gone upto 37.68 against 36.86 in 10th plan.
Mr. Sangma sought Planning Commission support for externally aided projects in water sector, green energy, new Shillong Township and forestry. He said people cutting across various groups and communities have evinced interest in various on-going development initiatives. Various multi-lateral agencies and centres of excellence have shown interest in partnership with Meghalaya.
He said under Community Development and Panchayats scheme, the emphasis has been laid on agricultural production, social education, animal husbandry, including veterinary, industries including arts & crafts, health and sanitation and rural roads which are being implemented through existing 39 Development blocks. The objective of the Community Development Scheme is to bring about general development and upliftment of socio-economic life of the rural people so as to foster the community sprit among the communities in the development process.
He said the State Government has stated that under the Mining Policy introduced in November 2012, mining is envisaged to be gradually regulated and illegal mining will be put to an end within a period of one year. The implementation of the policy will be monitored by Empowered Committee. The legality and other matters may also be examined.