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Nat`l Development Council to discuss Naxal issue for 1st time

Last Updated: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 21:44

New Delhi: The National Development Council
(NDC) will take up the issue of naxalism in the country at a
meeting scheduled on July 24, where a mid-term review of the
XI Plan will also be approved.

The naxal issue, which poses a serious threat to national
security, has never been discussed by the NDC in the past.
The nation`s apex planning body, the NDC comprising all
the Union Ministers and Chief Ministers, will also deliberate
on the low growth rate in the agriculture and power sector, a
source said.

In the recent past, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had
also asked the Planning Commission to work out a special
package for Naxal-infested regions.

The panel is also in the process of finalising a special
package of over Rs 3,400 crore to be evenly distributed among
34 naxal-hit districts in the country.

Plan panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has
called an internal meeting of the commission to firm up its
views on the problem of naxalism, which will be presented
before the NDC on July 24.
In 2008, the Home Ministry had identified 33 districts in
eight states affected by Left Wing extremism. This includes
areas in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

The low growth in agriculture has been another big
challenge for the UPA-II, as the targeted growth of four per
cent has not been maintained in the XI Five-Year Plan, as well
as in the previous period of five years.

Another major concern is the power sector, where the plan
panel had to scale down the generation capacity addition
target to 62,374 MW from 78,577 MW in its mid-term-review
placed before the Planning Commission meeting headed by the
Prime Minister on March 23.

In the mid-term review document, the commission had
lowered the growth rate for the current plan to 8.1 per cent
from 9 per cent in the wake of the global financial crisis
that slowed the rate of the country`s economic expansion.

The commission had projected in the mid-term review that
the economy would expand by 8.5 per cent in the current
fiscal, which would improve to 9 per cent in 2011-12. It is a
practice that after getting full plan panel clearance, the
mid-term review is placed before the Cabinet and then the NDC
for final approval.

The commission had set an average annual growth target of
9 per cent for the XI Plan (2007-12), beginning with 8.5 per
cent in the first year and closing with 10 per cent in the
last year.

Following the global financial meltdown, the growth rate
had slipped to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 from over 9 per cent in
the preceding three years. Thereafter, the growth recovered to
7.4 per cent last fiscal.

To achieve a high growth rate, the commission suggested
focusing on fiscal consolidation and maintaining an investor-
supportive economic environment.


First Published: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 21:44

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