GUWAHATI, July 2 � Instead of preparing plans by sitting in New Delhi, the Planning Commission has decided to hold zonal meetings and take the views of all the States while chalking out the priorities for the 12th Five Year Plan, which will begin next year. The basic aim of holding such meetings is to go for area specific projects and programmes as a project which is suitable for the North Zone states may not be suitable for an area like the North East.
Highly-placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the Planning Commission meeting for the North East region would be held in Guwahati on July 4 and 5. The Planning Commission team for the meeting will be headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The two-day meeting will have four sessions. The first session will be with the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of the NE States, the second will be with the industries associations, the third will be on the Social Welfare in which NGOs working in social sectors will also be invited and the last session will be with representatives of the urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions. The Planning Commission will finalize the 12th plan after taking into consideration the views and needs of all the states of the country.
Sources revealed that the draft paper for the 12th plan has already been circulated to all the States and the States have started preparing its papers to be presented before the Planning Commission identifying the priority sectors on the basis of the same. The Government of Assam has also started the process of preparing its paper pointing out the priority sectors of the State.
Sources disclosed that the OKD Institute of Social Sciences was entrusted with the responsibility of doing a study on social sectors and the report of the same would be placed before the Commission. Sources also pointed out that the decision of the Planning Commission to hold zonal meetings to know the needs of the States is a welcome development as for a region like the North East, some of the schemes and plans taken up for the other parts of the country are not beneficial.
It may be mentioned here that the Planning Commission has already made its approach paper for the 12th Plan public. As per the document, the GDP growth for the 11th Plan would be around 8.2 percent, which �is a remarkable achievement considering the worst draught in 30 years and global recession.� The target for GDP growth during the 12th Plan period is between 9 to 9.5 percent.
The targets for the 12th Plan include improved performance in Agriculture with at least 4 percent growth, faster creation of jobs in the manufacturing sector, rural connectivity, stronger efforts in health, education and skill development, reforming the implementation of the flagship programmes to increase their effectiveness etc.