Himachal proposes Rs 4,100-cr plan this fiscal

The Himachal Pradesh government has proposed an annual plan of Rs 4,100 crore for 2013-14, 11 per cent more than the current year's plan of Rs 3,700 crore. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, made the announcement at a meeting attended by all MLAs, convened to fix priorities for next year's annual plan, in Shimla on Wednesday. The plan will have to be approved by the Planning Commission.

The chief minister also informed the gathering that Rs 22,800 crore had been approved under the 12th Five Year Plan for the state, which, he added, was 65 per cent higher than the amount allotted in the previous such plan. Virbhadra further said that this was a record increase and was the highest in the country.

Himachal Pradesh, is perhaps, the only state in the country where the government holds consultations with all sitting MLAs, including those of the opposition, to fix priorities for the annual plan. On Wednesday, besides MLAs from Kangra, Kullu, Una, Hamirpur, Lahaul and Spiti districts and cabinet ministers, chief secretary Sudripta Roy, principal secretary (finance) Srikant Baldi and other top state bureaucrats attended the meeting.

The chief minister directed secretaries and all heads of departments to address public grievances on a priority basis. "The government is committed to speedy and balanced development of the state and for this, the Congress party's election manifesto has been adopted as the policy document. It will be our endeavour to provide a clean and transparent government and there will be zero tolerance against corruption," he announced.

The chief minister, however, said that the PWD and IPH departments have been directed to prepare Detailed Project Reports only after obtaining consent from the respective MLAs. Further, the government will propose schemes worth Rs 475 crore to the NABARD for 2013-14 - an 18.75 per cent higher than the previous year's target of Rs 400 crore.

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