Kerala annual plan 2011-12 finalized at Rs. 12,010 crores

New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): The annual plan outlay for Kerala for the year 2011-12 was finalized at Rs. 12,010 crores at a meeting between the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

Complimenting the State Government for leading in Human development index including health and education sectors, Ahluwalia said focus on revenue generation was needed and State needs to push forward its plans to encourage value added agriculture.

" The focus of the development initiatives should be health, education and employment generation. New initiatives are needed to create investor friendly environment and improve both social and physical infrastructure," he added.

Drawing attention to inherit strengths of the State, he said focus in the tourism sector should be on high value tourism.

Ahluwalia said as part of exercise aimed at further involving States in evolving approach for the 12th plan period; the Commission has taken views of all stake holders including States and civil society.

He said the Commission would be willing to help in working out a development plan which would make development more inclusive.

" State should move towards shifting to new pension system as most of other States have already done for better fiscal sustainability," he added.

He also recommended that setting up of an empowered committee on Externally Aided Projects would facilitate early approval.

Briefing the commission on the development strategy of the new Government, Chandy said State has been successful in containing both fiscal and revenue deficit. In 2010-11 fiscal deficit was only 2.91 per cent while revenue deficit was 1.39 per cent.

He said in spite of financial strains because of pay commission recommendation, the Government is committed to implement schemes to improve quality of life, enhance economic activities and improve agriculture production.

He said the commission should allow flexibility in the utilization of centrally sponsored schemes to improve achievement.

He said the State Government intends improving wages under MNREGS from Rs 150 to Rs 200 and this would increase allocation for the scheme by Rs 800 crore an official release said. (ANI)