The Annual Plan for Tamil Nadu for 2010-11 was on 3.05.2010 pegged at Rs. 20,068 crore at a meeting in Delhi between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and State Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
The Plan outlay includes an additional Central assistance of Rs.150 crore for projects of special interest to the State.
Initiating the discussions on Tamil Nadu’s performance, Mr. Ahluwalia said that although the plan realisation has been good, more efforts were needed to take its economy to the previous levels of growth as in during 2004-05 to 2006-07 when it was very impressive and better than the national average.
The State, he said, had an impressive record of improvement in human development indices and growth in industry and services. With a dynamic service sector, a relatively stagnant agriculture sector and a modest industry sector, Tamil Nadu was one of the most urbanised States with a high human development index and with improvement in infrastructure and high investment levels, it could graduate to the high income category, he said. As for social indicators, they were better than the national average and even its demographic indicators were better than the all-India level.
For improvement in the farm sector, the Commission advised the State government to lay greater emphasis on agricultural growth, step up productivity through increased dry-land farming, optimise water management, focus more on technology and research and bring more area under cultivation.
On the industrial front, it asked the government to devise schemes in the State sector and provide matching funds to avail higher assistance under the various Central schemes for industrial development.
For faster infrastructure development, the Commission advised Tamil Nadu to encourage public-private partnership (PPP) projects and take initiatives aimed at creating an investor-friendly environment. The Eleventh Plan, it was pointed out, lays emphasis on the role of PPP in infrastructure development and, accordingly, the Centre had been following an active plan of pushing this mode for infrastructure development.
Mr. Ahluwalia noted that many States had already taken major initiatives in this regard, including in social sectors such as health and education.
Briefing the Commission on the performance of Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Karunanidhi said the State government was committed to social justice and inclusive growth and that it was the duty of his government to ensure permanent houses to the poor to live with dignity.
It was with this intention that the government had introduced the Kalaignar housing scheme under which permanent concrete houses would be provided to 21 lakh poor families over six years.
Mr. Karunanidhi said the State government also introduced a health insurance scheme with a view to providing timely relief to poor sections of society.
The scheme, likely to benefit 1.44 crore families, entitled them to treatment for specified life-threatening diseases for up to Rs. 1 lakh in approved private hospitals. The Chief Minister demanded more funds for the State under the PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) for new link roads for habitation with population more than 250.
All habitations with a population of 1,000 or more had been provided such link roads, he said.
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