Plan panel okays Rs 13742cr for Naxal hit areas

Besides aiming to improve governance, the package would also focus on infrastructure development.

Updated: Aug 06, 2010, 23:14 PM IST

New Delhi: The Planning Commission has given
its nod to the Rs 13,742-crore package for developing the
Naxal-hit districts and the proposal has been sent to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh.

"The Planning Commission has finalised the integrated
action plan (IAP) for the Naxal-hit districts", Commission
member Mihir Shah said, adding the proposal, which requires
Cabinet approval, has been sent to the Prime Minister.

Besides aiming to improve governance in the Naxal-infested
districts, the special Rs 13,742-crore package would also
focus on infrastructure development like drinking water
supply, electricity, roads and health services in these areas.

However, Shah did not give details about as to how many
districts would be covered under the IAP. As per the original
plan 35 districts were to be covered under the IAP but during
deliberations on the plan, some members suggested to increase
the number of districts to 60.

Even, Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
had said recently that the panel was looking at broadening the
area of coverage under the IAP. "I don`t want to speak about
this (number of districts). We think we would broaden it, but
the exact number would be confirmed later", Ahluwalia had said.

In an internal meeting of the panel earlier this week,
some members had favoured increasing the area of coverage to
60 districts, while some others are against such a proposal as
that would see lowering of fund allocation. Those who are for
more coverage argue that the problem is not with funds but
improvement in governance which is the key for capacity-
building, without which the allocated money will not be
absorbed properly.

-PTI