NEW DELHI: Annual Plan of West Bengal for the year 2009-10 was approved today at a meeting between the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. The Annual Plan size was agreed at Rs.14150 crores. This includes additional Central Assistance of Rs. 50 crores for projects of special importance to the State.
In his opening remarks the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia complimented the State for plan performance. He said appreciable efforts are visible in expediting implementation in the social sector. Human development indices is improving. The State Government’s efforts to set up land bank to meet requirements of investments in the industrial sector were appreciated. He said the Planning Commission was keen that time lack in operationalising the initiative listed in the stimulus packages is reduced as far as possible. The State Government should join hands with the Central Government in early implementation of the stimulus packages.
The State was advised to accelerate the process of purchasing buses for mission cities of the State. The Planning Commission was willing to review the guidelines of the Centrally sponsored schemes if States were finding some difficulties in implementation. It was pointed out that the Central Government has finalized guidelines on the implementation of national programmes which will be communicated to the State shortly.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr. Buddhadeb in his comments on the performance of the State said that the consequences of the global economic crisis were affecting State’s and wanted Centre to give a grant of Rs.20000 crores to the States. He said the State Government was increasing budgetary allocation to the sectors which are employment intensive so that its impact is minimized at the lowest level. Allocations to roads, bridges, irrigation & drainage are being increased substantially for this purpose.
Emphasis on vocational education will continue as despite slow down investments in sectors like steel and cement were coming. To overcome the problem of providing land to the investors, the State Government was actively considering setting up of a land bank with initial provision of 5000 acres of land. More houses for poor in rural and urban areas would be constructed.