Annual Plan For Himachal Fixed At Rs 2400 Crore

Shimla: Marking out funds for equity participation in hydel projects and laying of a railway track from Bhanupali to Bilaspur, the planning commission today approved Himachal’s annual plan of Rs 2400 crore, which is more than Rs 300 crore from what it was last year.

The plan was finalized in a meeting with planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Alhuwalia and chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at Delhi today.

The chief minister disclosed that social sector was accorded top priority in the plan and Rs 818 crore which constitutes 34 percent of the annual plan had been allocated for the sector.

The plan has earmarked Rs 37 crore as state share for construction of the Bhanupali-Bilaspur railway line. The 63 kilometer rail track is expected to cost Rs 1047 crore, said Dhumal.

The state government had decided to become an equity participant in projects to be executed by state electricity board and state power corporation. An amount of Rs 299 crore in the plan would be put for securing 40 % equity in HPSEB projects and 60 % equity in HP power corporation projects, said the chief minister

Giving details, he disclosed that agriculture and allied sector had been allocated Rs 251 crore, rural development Rs 116 crore, irrigation and flood control Rs 296 crore, energy Rs 329 crore, transport and communications Rs 374 crore and general economic services Rs 87 crores.

Out of the total plan, Rs 1538.70 crore was under general plan, Rs 594 crore uncer scheduled caste sub-plan, Rs 216 crore under tribal sub-plan and Rs 51.29 crore under backward area sub-plan.

Dhumal revealed that four major irrigation projects that included the Shah Nehar, a flood control and irrigation scheme, Sidhatha ,Changer and Balh valley irrigations schemes would be completed during 11th Five Year Plan. He said that work on these schemes would be started soon and Rs 130 crore had been earmarked for them.

The chief minister claimed that 41 percent of the existing hydel potential woukld be tapped during 11th plan whereas presently only 31 percent of the estimated potential had been harnessed so far.

The plan projects an food grain production target of 16.38 lakh tons, vegetable production target of 11.44 lakh tons, mushroom production of 7.77 lakh tons and milk production of 8.75 lakh tons, said Dhumal

The chief minister sought the planning commissions intervention is securing the states share in various hydel projects executed by central agencies. Dhumal said that the state was incurring an annual revenue loss of about Rs 1600 crore because of non-allocation of its due share in the Bhakra Dam, the Beas-Satluj Link and the Pong Dam projects.

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