12 August :The Annual Plan for Karnataka for the year 2008-09 was finalized here today at a meeting between Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri B.S. Yediyurappa. The plan size was agreed at Rs. 26052.53 crore. This includes additional central assistance of rupees 100 crore for projects of special interest to the State.
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, complimented the State Government for fiscal performance. He said tax GSDP ratio of the State was amongst highest in the country. Plan realization is good. The State has made pioneering effort in water-shed development. Efforts to improve infrastructure through public private partnership needs to be encouraged.
He said the State Government should bring to the notice of the Commission, problems being faced in the implementation of Centrally sponsored schemes so as to enable Planning Commission in overcoming these difficulties. Attention was also drawn to the problems of health sector and it was pointed out that anemia and malnutrition among children was at a higher level. Efforts should be made to improve water quality in affected villages. Rain water harvesting needs to be encouraged to address water problem of Bengaluru.
The State is witnessing a structural transformation in the composition of its domestic product with the share of primary sector declining sharply. During the period 1993-94 to 2003-04, the manufacturing and service sectors grew at 7.50 and 10.61 per cent respectively, while the growth in primary sector regressed to 0.6 per cent per annum. While advising efforts on reducing urban poverty incidence, it was pointed out that urban poverty was significantly higher than the rural poverty.
Briefing the Commission on development strategy of the State, the Chief Minister said that the State intends to achieve a growth rate of 9 per cent during Eleventh Plan. Fiscal deficit has been restricted to less than 3 per cent of GSDP and revenue surplus achieved every year since 2004-05. He said focus will be on agriculture and allied activities to achieve the growth of over 4 per cent in primary sector. Agriculture mission is being set up for this purpose shortly.
The Chief Minister said his government aims to put the State at the forefront of developed States and a blueprint for all round development was being worked out. Skill Commission is being set up to train the youth. The government was committed to create one million employment opportunities in next five years. He also requested for including Cauvery basin irrigation projects in the Prime Minister’s package for distressed farmers without insisting on clearance from Cauvery Tribunal.