Friday, December 28, 2012

NDC approves 12th Five Year Plan




Country's apex policy making body NDC has approved the strategy to achieve average growth rate of 8 pc during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), generate 50 million new jobs and increase investments in infrastructure sector.

"I am very happy that NDC (National Development Council) has approved the 12th Five Year Plan. We have marginally reduced the average annual growth rate to 8 per cent (from 8.2 per cent).
"We expect with the growth rate of 5.8 per cent this fiscal and little over 7 per cent next fiscal, and with extra effort in the remaining three more years we can reach 8 per cent," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in New Delhi on Thursday.
The voluminous document, containing detailed policy strategy for the 12th Plan, was approved at the full meeting of the NDC chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The document has pegged the aggregate Plan resources at Rs 37.16 lakh crore during the five year period starting 2012-13.
Singh assured all Chief Ministers that Centre has taken note of the points raised by them, including those in the written speeches.
"All these points will be carefully considered by the Planning Commission," he said, adding, the Plan is not a rigid blue print.
"It is a broad 'directional' and 'aspirational' document, which must allow for modification on the basis of experience... We must now devote all our energies to implementing the Plan," the Prime Minister said.
Moving away from previous practice of presenting single growth projection, the Planning Commission has come out with three different economic scenarios for 12th Five-Year Plan.
As per the "aspirational" scenario one -- of strong inclusive growth -- India's economic growth will be average 8 percent in the five years.
The document also cautions that in scenario of policy logjam, the GDP growth could slow down to 5-5.5 percent.
The document proposes to bring down poverty by 10 percentage points by the end of the 12th Plan and generate five crore new jobs in non-farm sector.
As regard the infrastructure sector, it says that efforts should be made to increase investment in this sector to 9 percent of the GDP by the end of the Plan period.
The other targets include increasing green cover by one million hectare every year and adding 30,000 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in the Plan period.
It also seeks to reduce emission intensity of the GDP in line with the target of 20-25 reduction by 2020 over 2005 levels.
Although the document envisages 6.7 percent growth rate in the current fiscal, it has been projected at 5.7-5.9 percent in 2012-13 by the Finance Ministry.
The strategy for the full Plan would aim at raising agriculture output to 4 percent and manufacturing sector growth to 10 percent.
It also wants all the states to set higher targets of growth than what was achieved in the 11th Five Year Plan.
(DD-28.12)
Petro products, power, coal underpriced: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday made a strong case for "phased" hike in prices of petroleum products, coal and power as they are "underpriced" warning that failure to control subsidies would lead to cut in plan expenditure.
"Unfortunately, energy is underpriced in our country. Our coal, petroleum products and natural gas are all priced well below international prices. This also means that electricity is effectively underpriced, especially for some consumers.”
"Immediate adjustment of prices to close the gap is not feasible, I realise this, but some phased price adjustment is necessary", Singh said while addressing the 57th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC).
The apex policy-making body NDC, which comprises Cabinet Ministers and State Chief Ministers, was convened to approve the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) which seeks to peg the average annual growth rate at 8 per cent, as against 8.2 per cent proposed earlier.
Drawing attention to the need to control subsidies, Dr Singh said some subsidies were a normal part of any socially just system but they should be well designed and effectively targeted. The total volume must be kept within limits of fiscal sustainability.
"Failure to control subsidies within these limits only means that other plan expenditures have to be cut or the fiscal deficit target exceeded," he said.
In his address, Dr Singh also referred to the recent gangrape of a 23-year old paramedic student in the capital and said the government would accord high priority to safety and security of women as "there can be no meaningful development without the active participation of half the population".

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