MTA to focus on agriculture, core sector

New Delhi, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2005, 05:30am hrs
The priorities identified in the mid-term appraisal document of the Tenth Plan (2002-07) will be similar to the ones laid down by the government in the national common minimum programme (NCMP).

Speaking to FE, Plannning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that the thrust will be on agriculture, irrigation and management of water resources.

Commenting on whether the mid-term appraisal (MTA) will be dramatically different from the priorities of the original Tenth Plan document, Mr Ahluwalia said that the Planning Commission had already made some changes in thrust areas. The NCMP already announced a much bigger thrust in the social sectors, he said.

Pointing out that agriculture was being ignored and there was not as much dynamism in it as was needed, the deputy chairman said that the MTA would give a renewed thrust to agriculture.

Mr Ahluwalia added that related to agriculture was irrigation and water management which required equal attention in the MTA.

Another area which requires more prominence in the Plan is infrastructure, Mr Ahluwalia said. I think infrastructure was not given as much importance as it should have. It is now clear that the solutions are not simple. So, we have to work harder to get results, he said.

The MTA will have a concluding chapter which will bring out the main short-term potential policy agenda issues, Mr Ahluwalia added.

The full Planning Commission will meet on April 5 to give its nod to the MTA followed by a National Development Council meeting on April 15 which will give a final clearance to the document.