Delhi: The 12th Five Year Plan for Himachal was fixed at Rs 22,800 crore at a meeting here of National Development Council held at Vigyan Bhawan, which newly elected chief minister Virbhadra Singh said was 65 percent higher in comparison to the 11th Plan making it the highest percentage increase in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Virbhadra said that in comparison to a national annual average growth of 8.2 %, the hill state would achieve an annual growth of 9 percent. In agriculture the growth would be 4.5% as the state was spending more than 9 percent of its plan allocation of agriculture and allied sector.
The state has fixed a target of bringing an additional 27000 hectares of land under irrigation during the plan period and has set itself the task of providing 70 liters of water per person in comparison to 55 liters of national average.
Given the difficult topographical conditions, the chief minister said that the cost norm for the hill state should be increased from Rs 1.5 lakhs to Rs 4 lakhs and completion period increased from two to three years.
The remaining 10,725 habitations out of a total of 53,201 are targeted to be provided with safe drinking water during the plan period.
Seeking assistance for setting up food processing industries, Virbhadra sought to get import duty on apples increased by three times in order to guard the interests of fruit growers in hilly areas.
Virbhadra also asked for restoring air traffic to Himachal, wanted subsidized heli-taxi services for the state and asked for declaring the proposed Baddi – Kalka, Bilaspur to Leh via Manali rail tracks as projects of national importance.
He said that during the plan period additional power of 4630 MW would be generated by the state and out of the total potential of over 23,000 MW only 8368 MW had been harnessed.
The chief minister asked for continuance of subsidy on LPG cylinders for in the absence of the energy source, demand for fuel wood would increase.
The state intends to make right of secondary education during the plan with the objective of providing universal access to secondary education.
Infant mortality rate would be brought down to 22 from existing 40 and hundred percent institutional deliveries will be achieved in the plan period. So far 2.07 lakh persons had been benefitted with the 108 ambulance service.
Seeking uniformity in funding treatment with North Eastern states of 90:10 with special category states, Virbhadra said that said the states forest policy would be reviews to ensure that natural resources are not over exploited and livelihood of those people who depend on forest resources are not adversely affected.
However he asked the union government to compensate the Himalayan states for conserving ecology.