Thursday, October 4, 2012
Govt approves 12th Five-Year Plan
The Union Cabinet discussed and approved the draft 12th Plan document, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said. The document has already been approved by the full Planning Commission headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 15.
The document will now be placed before the National Development Council (NDC), the apex decision making body, for the final approval.
The NDC, headed by the Prime Minister with all Chief Ministers and Cabinet Ministers on board, is the final authority to approve the five-year long policy document.
In view of the ongoing global problems, the average annual growth target for the 12th Plan has been scaled down to 8.2 per cent from 9 per cent envisaged in the approach paper to the 12th Plan.
During the 11th Plan (2007-12), India has recorded an average economic growth rate of 7.9 per cent. This, however, is lower than the 9 per cent targeted in 11th Plan.
Besides other things, the 12th Plan seeks to achieve 4 per cent agriculture sector growth during 2012-17. The growth target for manufacturing sector has been pegged at 10 per cent.
The total plan size has been estimated at Rs. 47.7 lakh crore, 135 per cent more that for the 11th Plan (2007-12). As regards to poverty alleviation, the commission aims to bring down the poverty ratio by 10 per cent. At present, 30 per cent of the population is below poverty line.
With the deteriorating global situation, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said that achieving an average growth rate of 9 per cent in the next five years is not possible.
"It is not possible to think of an average of 9 per cent (in 12th Plan). I think somewhere between 8 and 8.5 per cent is feasible,” Mr Ahluwalia said on the sidelines of a conference of State Planning Boards and departments. The approached paper for the 12th Plan, approved last year, talked about an annual average growth rate of 9 per cent.
“When I say feasible...that will require major effort. If you don’t do that, there is no God given right to grow at 8 per cent. I think given that the world economy deteriorated very sharply over the last year...the growth rate in the first year of the 12th Plan (2012-13) is 6.5 to 7 per cent.”