Shimla: Himachal State Planning Board has approved Rs. 7900 crore annual plan for year 2020-21, which is Rs.800 crore more than 2019-20 with about 11 percent increase.This was stated by CM Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the meeting of State Planning Board held here today. He said that social services sector has been accorded priority by allocating Rs. 3487.24 crore, which was 44.14 percent of the total annual plan. He said that transport and communication sector has been allocated Rs. 1394.89 crore, whereas agriculture and allied activities had been allotted Rs. 974.29 crore. Similarly, irrigation and flood control has been proposed Rs. 508.05 crore, while Rs. 499.05 crore has been earmarked for energy sector.
CM appreciated efforts of the Planning Department for making a comprehensive and interesting presentation on economy of the State. He said the state has made remarkable progress in various spheres, but still a lot more could be achieved. He said the meeting of Planning Board would go a long way in making the planning for state more effective and result oriented. He said that the state has made marked progress in the field of education. He expressed concern over the gap between the male and female literacy rate. He said that efforts should be made to reduce this gap as this would help in women empowerment.Jai Ram Thakur said that the life expectancy rate of state was better than the national average, which speaks of better health services being provided to people of the State. He said that the low productivity rate was also an area of concern. He said that the per capita income of state was better that the national average and most of other states, which was Rs. 1,76,968 in 2018-19 and had shown increase of 10.12 percent from 2017-18. He said that Himachal Pradesh was second state after Sikkim to achieve the target of ODF.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government has launched several schemes for redressal of public grievances nearer to their doorsteps. He said that Jan Manch and Chief Minister Sewa Sankalp Helpline 1100 were proving boon to the common man. He said that the Grihini Suvidha Yojna has ensured that Himachal Pradesh become first state of the country with every household with gas connection. He said that adequate funds have been provided under the backward area Sub Plan. He said that out of the 3226 Panchayats, only 80 remains to be connected with roads.CM said that the state government was ensuring that instead of going for expansion of education and health institutions in the state, stress must be laid ion qualitative improvement of institutions. He said that focus must be laid on quality education so that the students could be prepared for meeting the challenges for the present competitive world. He said that the state have six medical colleges in government and one medical college in private sector. He said that in addition to this, AIIMS was also coming up in Bilaspur district. Chief Minister also released two publications of the Planning Department on the occasion.
Vice Chairman, State Planning Board Ramesh Dhawala said that the state has achieved a remarkable growth in the field of education, health, horticulture and social services sectors. He said that the state economy has achieved a growth rate of 7.3 percent in the financial year 2018-19. He said that efforts should be made on ensuring quality education in state instead of unmindful expansion of educational institutions. He also laid stress on taking steps for revenue generation for state exchequer.Cabinet Ministers Mahender Singh, Suresh Bhardwaj, Sarveen Chaudhary, Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Vipin Singh Parmar, Virender Kanwar, Bikram Singh, Govind Singh Thakur and Dr. Rajiv Saizal, MLAs and non official members gave their valuable suggestions in the meeting to make it more effective and result oriented.