12th Plan to focus on NE connectivity [The Sangai Express]

NEW DELHI, Oct 20: Mem-ber of the Union Planning Commission BK Chaturvedi has stated that the 12th Plan will emphasise on connecti-vity in the North East region.

Interacting with the media on the concluding day of the Economic Editors’ Conference at Shastri Bhawan here today, Chaturvedi said that road connectivity in the region will be planned under phase A and phase B.

A total length of 6000 kilometres of road in the region will come under phase A while the next phase will seek to cover 3000 kms.

Chaturvedi further said that under the rail sector, connecting all the State ca-pitals in the region will figure high in the 12th Plan.

The Jiri to Tupul rail line will be finalised by 2014 while the Tupul to Imphal rail line project will be comple-ted by 2016.

Admitting that air connectivity in the region is poor, the Planning Commission Member said that work has been taken up to improve this sector.

Meanwhile, Finance Mi-nister Pranab Mukherjee who opened the two day conference said that four factors have been triggering inflation seizing the country at the moment and identified them as increase in prices of petroleum products, increase in minimum support prices for some agriculture produces particu- larly rice and pulses, rise in non-food manufacturing inflation and seasonal factors.

He conceded that rate of inflation pegged at a high of 9.72 percent as on September this year is threatening to slow down economic growth and the UPA Gover-nment is determined to tac- kle the issue by concentrating on three key options available before it.

The Finance Minister however downplayed the inflation factor and added that growth outlook in the region of 8.1 percent for the current year is still appropriate.

Pranab Mukherjee predicted that inflation will come down by December in the face of the monetary policy starting to have an impact. “A good Monsoon will go on to help,” he added.

The inflation, as calculated through the Wholesale Price Index should remain moderate at about 6 percent by March 2012.

Touching on the same line Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman of Prime Minister Advisory Committee said that inflation in food prices has impacted on other manufacturing goods.

To tackle the issue, the Government has three options before it, he said and enumerated them as relaxing supply constraint, release PDS items in a systematic manner and streamline distribution.

Dr Rangarajan added that inflation should be studied through wholesale price index and consumer price index – the price that the consumer has to pay while making purchases.

Apart from Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, Nandan Nilekani were among the personalities to address the media.

Source: The Sangai Express



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