CM aims 12.5% growth rate for 12th plan period

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday projected state growth rate at 12.5 per cent with a proposed plan outlay of Rs 2.75 lakh crore. The growth he said will be attained with agriculture sector contributing 4 per cent and industry and service sector 11 per cent each.

At the National Development Council meeting, Chavan urged the Centre to give more funds under JNNURM to complete mega-projects in infrastructure sector, which remains a concern. He said in a state where agriculture is 83 per cent rain-fed, the irrigation sector needs massive investments.

Pointing to the recurring drought in the state, he stressed on special efforts in dry land farming to develop protective irrigation. "The government has set up a Dry Land Farming Mission. The state has legislated Groundwater Use Act to regulate water distribution. The Bill is awaiting the Presidential consent," he said.

Chavan said the gross cropped area under surface irrigation is an abysmal 12 per cent as against a national average of 40 per cent. While admitting backlog in irrigation project in Vidarbha, he said, "we need huge investments for sustainable agriculture growth." He also urged the Centre to declare projects like Lower Penganga and Jigaon as national projects like the Gosikhurd in Vidharba. These projects will boost agri growth by bringing 3.25 lakh hectare of land in agrarian distress districts.

The CM said the state attracted 4,630 projects with a total investment of Rs 6.5 lakh crore in the 11th plan period. The projects together can create jobs for 22 lakh people. "We have received highest FDI in the country," he said.

Chavan said the Centre has approved the proposals of the state government to set up 32 clusters of Micro and Small Enterprises, which will provide jobs for nearly 1 lakh persons in the next three years.

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