The Planning Commission has approved Rs. 27,500 crore outlay for the Annual Plan of Rajasthan for the year 2011-12. So far it is the largest annual plan for the state till now. This annual plan is Rs 3500 crore more than the annual plan of Rs. 24,000 crore approved by the Planning Commission for the year 2010-11. The draft of annual plan was finalized after the discussion between Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot at Yojna Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
The Energy Sector has been accorded top priority in the Annual Plan 2011-12. The second priority has been given to Social and Community Services in the plan. The proposed plan expenditure amount for these sectors is 44 and 30 percent respectively. During the meeting with the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot said Energy sector had been accorded top priority in the annual plan 2010-11 also, but the state government is facing difficulty in achieving the targets because coal blocks not allocated by the centre. He said due to this it is likely that Rs. 3700 crore would be less spent in the plan. Shri Gehot said for the allocation of coal blocks requests have been made time to time to the Prime Minister, Union Coal Minister and Union Minister for Environment along with the Planning Commission. He said the Govt. of India has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss the issue and we hope that with the recommendation of the GoM further action would be taken regarding allocation of coal blocks.
The Chief Minister said by increasing amount for Education, Health, Drinking Water, Urban Development & Housing, SC/ST, Woman & Child Development the state government allocated 1/3 of the annual plan under these heads and we hope that the likely expenditure under the annual plan 2010-11 to remain Rs. 22,000 crore. He said the approved outlay of State's Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) by Planning Commission is Rs 71,732 crore. Against this outlay, an amount of ` 95,000 crore is expected to be spent during the Eleventh Five year Plan which is more than the target. Discussing the financial management of the state Shri Gehlot said Rajasthan completes the eligibility conditions for loan wavering for the year 2008-09. He said keeping this in view the Centre should rethink regarding Rs. 308 crore recovered by the Centre in the end of the year 2009-10.
Mentioning drinking water as the biggest challenge for Rajasthan Shri Gehlot said around 34,000 villages and dhanis are having problem regarding safe drinking water. He said the desert districts of Rajasthan especially Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Pali, Jalore, Churu and Nagaur having average rainfall between 100 to 200 MM and these areas are having saline water. He said the state witness's drought in every two year and the drought like situation continue for years. In these conditions ground water and surface water problem persists and the availability of water remains uncertain. He said out 249 blocks 198 blocks are in dark zone in Rajasthan. Around 66 percent area of the state is desert and due to the less density of population in this area the cost for schemes increases much.
The Chief Minister said to deal with the drinking water problem and for the villages and dhanis facing drinking water the state requires more than Rs. 37, 000 crore. He said to manage such a huge amount is not in the capacity of the state government. He said the state government had made request to the Govt. of India to give special status to Rajasthan from the drinking water point of view but it was not accepted. He said the state government has approved 67 big drinking water projects worth Rs. 12,500 crore and work is in progress.
Shri Gehlot said to achieve the target set by the Govt. of India to avail safe drinking water in villages and dhanis by 2012 is not possible. He said in the previous year also the state government had made request to the Planning Commission that if the Govt. of India provides minimum of Rs. 5000 crore in the next 4-5 years and the remaining amount provided in the state budget it is likely to achieve the target by 2015-16. Constitute Team of Experts and Provide Special Assistance Package Shri Gehlot requested the Planning Commission that if it was not possible to give the status of special state to Rajasthan, than keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the state special assistance package like Punjab, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir and Bihar should be provided to the state. He suggested that if Government of India did not agree to the policy of providing drinking water from surface sources to the villages and 'dhanis' of the state than a team of National experts be constituted so that it could provide right technical guidance and drinking water be made available to the villages grappling with the problem of drinking water.
He requested that top priority should be given in sanctioning externally aided projects of the state. Along with this he also requested that provision of giving 90 percent subsidy be made for irrigation projects in desert areas as being given in drought prone areas presently. Similarly he requested that 80 percent Central assistance be provided for drip irrigation and cold wave and hail storm be included in the category of 11 calamities listed in National Calamity Fund.
Request for Laying down Ratlam-Banswara-Dungarpur Rail Line Referring to the power projects Shri Gehlot said that the state would produce additional power of 3150 megawatts by the end of 11th Five Year Plan, which would be about 175 percent more as compared to the target. He requested that state should be provided coal linkages and coal blocks along with environmental clearances and said that no railway line was available for transportation of coal in the tribal dominated Banswara district.
He informed that there was a possibility of the sanction of nuclear power plant in the district in the future. He said that the State Government had given consent to provide Rs. 1200 crores for laying down Ratlam-Banswara via Dungarpur railline. He requested the Planning Commission that they should cooperate in getting sanction for this railway line so that alround development of tribal areas could take place. He also informed about the lignite based power projects in Barmer and Bikaner district of the state. Demand to Include other cities under JNNURM Expressing gratitude to the Government of India for providing approval for starting the work of Jaipur Metro, Shri Gehlot requested that all the citities with the population of more than five lakh in the state should be included under the JNNURM. He informed that Jaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar was included under the scheme presently. The Chief Minister said that with the view to develop infrastructure and to attract private investment the Rajasthan infrastructure development Act was being introduced. Similarly an ordinance have been enforced from the month of January this year in order to strengthen single window system.
He said that 40 percent area of Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor was passing through Rajasthan. He said that special area have been identified for running various industrial and business activities around the corridor and development work in these areas had been started. Shri Gehlot said the state government is committed for providing sensitive, transparent and accountable administration and paying special attention towards the areas of social security. He said Keeping public welfare programmes on top priority the efforts are being made for the upliftment of the common man and the positive results are being witnessed of these efforts. The Chief Secretary Shri S.Ahmed, Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Shri C.K.Mathew, Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Residential Commissioner Shri Rajeev Sharma, Principal Secretary Planning Shri D.B.Gupta, Principal Secretary to CM Shri Shrimat Pandey and other senior officers were present on the occasion.