The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to do away with the old system of Plan and Non Plan categorization for the Budget and start a new system of Annual Development Budget instead of Annual Plan from the year 2021-22.

This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the State Planning Board Meeting held here on Wednesday to approve Draft Annual Development Budget for the year 2021-22.

The chief minister said that under the new mechanism all the four sub plans namely General Plan, Scheduled Caste Sub Plan, Tribal Sub Plan and Backward Area Sub Plan would now be renamed General Development Programme, Scheduled Caste Development Programme, Scheduled Tribe Development Programme and Backward Area Development Programme respectively.

Thakur said that the state government has made a provision of Rs 9405.41 crore for the state Development Budget for the year 2021-22. He said that out of this Rs 6096.70 crore, that is Rs 64.82 percent, has been allocated for the General Development Programme, Rs 2369.22 crore, that is 25.19 percent, for Scheduled Caste Development Programme, Rs 846.49 crore, that is 9 percent for Scheduled Tribe Development Programme and Rs 93 crore, that is 0.99 percent, of total allocation for Backward Area Development Programme.

He said that although the names have been changed, yet there has been no decrease in the allocation of funds for development of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Areas.

The chief minister said that the world economy was adversely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India and Himachal Pradesh was not an exception. He said that the timely steps taken by the Centre government has put the derailed economy of the country and state back on the track. He said that all this was possible due to the able leadership provided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the Central government provided a financial assistance of Rs 7161 crore to the state government during the pandemic in form of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Atam Nirbhar Bharat, during Lockdown.

Thakur said the state government took an initiative to attract private investments in the state and organized Global Investors’ Meet at Dharamshala.

He said that MoUs worth Rs. 96,000 crores were signed by several renowned entrepreneurs. He said that the event was a mega success as a ground breaking ceremony of projects worth Rs 13,600 crore was performed within one month of the Meet.

He said that other projects worth Rs 10,000 crore were ready for ground breaking. He said that the pandemic has an adverse impact on this endeavour of the state government.

The chief minister said the state government has performed better in Ease of Doing Business by climbing to seventh rank from the 16th place. He said that the agriculture sector played a significant role in strengthening the economy of the Country and State during the pandemic.

He said that the ‘V’- Shaped growth in economy was a sign of relief for the country. He said that steps needed to be taken to create its own resources to generate income to the State and some harsh steps needed to be taken to check haphazard expansions. He said that now the focus must be on strengthening the existing infrastructure.

Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary urged to provide timebound approval to the industrialists to set up their units in the state. He said that steps must be taken to check illegal mining in the State, but at the same time provide mining lease to the people to promote scientific mining.

Vice Chairman State Planning Board Ramesh Chand Dhawala said all the members of the Board would give their valuable suggestions to make planning more beneficial for the people of the state.

He said that people’s participation must be ensured for balanced development of the state.