The State Planning Board of Himachal Pradesh on Monday approved Rs 7,900 crore annual plan for the year 2020-21, which is Rs 800 crore more than last year with about 11 percent increase, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.
Presiding over the meeting of State Planning Board held here, he said that social services sector has been accorded priority by allocating Rs 3487.24 crore, which was 44.14 percent of the total annual plan. He said that transport and communication sector has been allocated Rs 1394.89 crore, whereas agriculture and allied activities had been allotted Rs 974.29 crore. Similarly, irrigation and flood control has been proposed Rs 508.05 crore, while Rs 499.05 crore has been earmarked for energy sector.
The Chief Minister said the State has made remarkable progress in various spheres, but still a lot more could be achieved, adding that the meeting of Planning Board would go a long way in making the planning for State more effective and result oriented.
Thakur said that the life expectancy rate of State was better than the national average, which speaks of better health services being provided to people of the State. He, however, said that the low productivity rate was also an area of concern.
The per capita income of State was better that the national average and most of other states, which was Rs 1,76,968 in 2018-19 and had shown increase of 10.12 percent from 2017-18. He said that Himachal Pradesh was second state after Sikkim to achieve the target of ODF.
Chief Minister said that since 90 per cent population lives in rural area, emphasis should be laid on increasing crop production and strengthen the farm income for betterment of state economy. He said that stress must be laid on research in the farm sector, so that the farmers could be motivated for cultivation of high yielding crops. He said that the farmers should also be promoted for adopting natural farming as this would not only fetch them better price of their produce, but also help in improving the health of the soil.
Thakur said adequate funds have been provided under the backward area Sub Plan and out of the 3226 Panchayats, only 80 remains to be connected with roads.
Emphasising that the state government was committed to make Himachal a favourite tourist destination of the country, he said the government was ensuring that work on four-laning projects was expedited so as to ensure better connectivity in the state. He directed the officers to ensure that all bottlenecks in road projects must be removed at the earliest. He said that in order to ensure better air connectivity, all the existing three airports were being expanded and improved.
The Chief Minister said that the success of Global Investors' Meet has ensured active participation of private sector in development of the State pointing out that MoUs worth Rs 96,000 crore have been signed and ground breaking ceremony of Rs 13,500 crore has been performed.
Cabinet Ministers Mahender Singh, Suresh Bhardwaj, Sarveen Chaudhary, Ram Lal Markanda, Vipin Singh Parmar, Virender Kanwar, Bikram Singh, Govind Singh Thakur and Rajiv Saizal, MLAs and non official members gave their suggestions in the meeting to make it more effective and result oriented.