labels: economy - general
Fifth Plan targets 8.5 per cent GDP growth: Monteknews
28 June 2006

Mumbai: The Fifth Plan has fixed a GDP growth target of 8.5 per cent against the previous plan target of seven per cent, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, said here.

The plan would focus on education, health, water supply and infrastructure development, he said while addressing a two-day conference of chief ministers and administrators of Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

He said the draft plan stresses the need to increase expenditure on development and expansion of services and facilities in education, health, water supply and infrastructure sectors.

Budgetary allocation for drought-hit areas, rural road development and electrification, agriculture and agro-processing, irrigation and adivasi welfare should be increased, Ahluwalia said.

The draft Plan also focuses on strengthening government machinery and making it efficient, transparent and responsive for implementation of the schemes, he said.

Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, meanwhile, demanded a substantial hike in the allocation of Central funds to the state. He pointed out that the state had to face drought in the first three years of the Tenth Plan and floods in the fourth year.

Yet, he said, "Maharashtra''s state gross domestic product (SGDP) has been increasing at around 8 to 8.5 per cent during the Tenth Five-Year Plan. We want to go a notch further and achieve double-digit growth which will help the country to achieve a growth of around 8.5 per cent."

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Fifth Plan targets 8.5 per cent GDP growth: Montek