Infrastructure gap in Manipur needs to be bridged on priority, says Montek Singh

New Delhi, June 6 (ANI): Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday met Manipur Chief Minister OIbobi Singh and said that infrastructure gap in the state needs to be bridged on priority.

Finalizing the annual plan for the year 2012-13 of Manipur, Ahluwalia said the state has been performing satisfactorily butt the infrastructure gap in the state needs to be bridged.

"The State should encourage private participation in infrastructure development. The GSDP at current prices of the State has increased from Rs.5,133.66crore in 2004-05 to Rs.7,184.09 crore in 2010-11," he added.

Briefing the commission on the development strategy of Manipur, OIbobi Singh said that the main thrust will be on reducing infrastructural deficit and expanding and strengthening capacity of key social sectors - Health, education, women and child welfare, nutrition and food security.

He said there is a need for closing the gap between the deprived local population and the rest of the country.

"It is therefore necessary that there is enough investment for expansion of social infrastructure for covering the disadvantaged section, backward, remote and border areas," he added.

He said skill development programmes would be expanded to meet growing demand of industry and service sectors. He also said greater powers would be devolved to the hill area and new policy initiatives will be taken to encourage investments in these areas.

Recent analysis reveals differing levels of growth rate of different sectors of the Economy, during the period 2000-2009. Of the sectors considered, electricity, gas and water supply and public administration were found to have grown slowly. Fishery, Manufacturing with its sub-sector Unregistered manufacturing and Transport, storage and communication with its sub-sector communication had grown faster.

Education and health indices throw up a mix of the good and not so good. Literacy rate, standing at 70.50 per cent in 2001 has improved significantly to 79.85 per cent in 2011. Overall, in Male literacy rate has increased by about 6 per cent to 80.33 per cent in 2011 while female rate has gone up by 12.64 per cent from 60.53 per cent during the same period.

Health indicators are good with Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and Crude Death Rate (CDR) estimated at 14.9 and 4.2 respectively as against 22.1 and 7.2 respectively at All-India average (SRS-2010), and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 14 per thousand at (SRS-2010) as against 47 at All-India average. (ANI)