New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Planning Commission Wednesday approved Rs.40,500 crore outlay for Rajasthan for the financial year beginning April 1, 2013, and asked the state to make a long-term strategy to meet water requirements.
The plan outlay for the next financial year was finalised during a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
During the meeting, Ahluwalia said water security was a major challenge for Rajasthan and a careful approach was needed to meet the growing demands.
He said drip irrigation and recycling of used water was desirable and the government should work out strategy to meet this requirement.
Ahluwalia offered the Planning Commission support in working out a long-term plan to meet the state’s water requirements, a Planning Commission statement here said.
The plan panel complimented Rajasthan for achieving an impressive 7.9 percent average annual farm sector growth during the 11th Plan period (2007-12) as compared to the national average of 3.7 percent. Overall growth was also better than many other states.
“Rapid growth of agriculture is critical for inclusiveness since it is still the main source of livelihood for majority of the rural population. For sustaining the growth in agriculture sector, more emphasis should be given to deteriorating quality of land and underground water, composite farming system in arid and semi-arid region and creating scope for diversification in cropping system,” the Planning Commission said.
Gehlot said electronics and information technology would be among the focus areas of development during the 12th Plan period (2012-17).
The chief minister said Rajasthan has achieved a sound financial health due to an innovative approach adopted by his government.
During the past four years a number of social welfare schemes have been launched and various reforms have been introduced in the administrative system, Gehlot said.
The Rajasthan government has adopted a multi-pronged approach for socio-economic development of scheduled tribes, he said.
“The state is giving importance to human resource development of tribal youth through education and vocational training, providing facilities like hostels, residential schools and multipurpose hostels up to college level in the 12th five year plan period,” the official statement released after the meeting said.