New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh's 2013-14 Annual Plan outlay was fixed at Rs.4,100 crore by the Planning Commission Wednesday, Rs.400 crore more than last year's plan size.
The plan size is 11 percent higher than the Rs.3,700 crore outlay for 2012-13, an official statement said.
The outlay was finalised at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here.
The social, transport and communications, and energy sectors have been given top priority, and respectively have been allocated Rs.1,371.40 crore, Rs.865.14 crore and Rs.624.68 crore.
The state economy growth rate for the 12th Five Year Plan has been fixed at nine percent, the statement said, quoting the chief minister.
The chief minister said an outlay of Rs.1,013.52 crore has been made to the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan, while Rs.369 crore has been set aside for the Tribal Area Sub Plan, and Rs.37 crore for development of declared backward areas.
In a total population of 68,56,509, the hill state has over 200,000 from the Scheduled Castes and around 350,000 from the Scheduled Tribes, mainly settled in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts and some pockets of Chamba district.
The chief minister said agriculture and allied activities, the main source of income for the state, have been allocated Rs.530.84 crore.
About 16 percent of the total Gross State Domestic Product comes from agriculture and allied activities.
To tap additional sources of hydropower, the chief minister said 5,009 MW hydel energy would be generated in the state during 12th five year plan, out of which a target of 1,918 MW has been fixed for 2013-14.
He stressed the need for low-cost, open-access grid connectivity in the entire country to evacuate surplus power for energy consumers, at proper price.
At the meeting, the chief minister pleaded that air services be restarted to all the three airports in the state at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu, to boost high-end tourism.
He also requested that the Bilaspur-Leh rail line via Manali be declared a project of national importance, keeping in view its strategic importance. He sought also the restoration of the special industrial package to speed up industrialisation in the state.
Tourism, horticulture, and hydropower generation are major contributors to Himachal Pradesh's economic development.