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Thursday, May 30, 2002

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Bengal Plan size at Rs 6,307 cr

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THE annual plan of West Bengal for the current fiscal has been pegged at Rs 6,307 crore at a meeting between the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr K.C. Pant, and the State Planning Minister, Dr Nirupam Sen, here. The Tenth Plan outlay for the State has been projected at Rs 28,641 crore.

In his remarks, Mr Pant appreciated the efforts of the State Government in improving the literacy rate, health and demographic indices and rice production. Support to group insurance of agriculture labour and construction workers and matching contribution towards provident fund of low income wage employed workers in the unorganised sector were singled out for praise by Mr Pant.

While commending the State's effort in obtaining a growth of over 7 per cent during the Ninth Plan period, Mr Pant stated that there was a sharp deterioration in the State's own funds and shortfall in the realisation of Central assistance.

He also drew attention to frequent downward revision of annual plans. He said the projected Tenth Plan target of 8.8 per cent growth rate was achievable in view of potential and dynamism of the State.

Briefing the Commission on the performance of the State during the Ninth Plan (1997-2002) and targets for the Tenth Plan, the State Finance Minister, Dr Asim Kumar Dasgupta, said the State was not opposed to reforms though it had different view on approach. He said the reforms should have social objectives with due emphasis on employment generation.

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