The Planning Commission on Monday finalized Uttarakhand’s annual plan for 2012-13 at Rs 8,200 crore, a 5% increase over the state’s outlay last year. The plan size was finalized at a meeting between plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna. Ahluwalia said the commission was aware of the infrastructure deficit in the state and its constraint to meet the cost of infrastructure development.
He said the state needed to further encourage private sector participation in infrastructure development which would help it tap the potential in sectors like tourism while catalyzing economic activity in all regions. The state government’s attention was drawn to problems in human development, including dropout rate in schools and minority welfare.
The CM said only 18% people in the state were below the poverty line against 32.7% in 2004-05, adding that in the 12th five-year plan, the state will target poverty and unemployment as the most serious challenges.
Infrastructure, agriculture and allied sectors, water and irrigation, industry, power, tourism, education and skill development and medical and health would be the focus sectors during the 12th Plan, he added.
There was a strong case for developing a wide network of railways to all districts as a strategic defence initiative, Bahuguna said. Similarly, there was a need to take up development of airports, airstrips and helipads as a defence, tourist and disaster management initiative, he said.