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Only five states, including Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, have registered growth rates higher than their respective targets set for the 11th Plan period (2007-12) so far, Parliament was informed today.
"The states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have realised growth rate higher than the target. Other states have experienced lower growth vis-a-vis the target...," Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to a query on whether growth during the first four years of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) in most of the 17 non-special category states have remained below the target set for the Plan period.
Bihar recorded a growth rate of 11.44% in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) during 2007-08 to 2010-11, against the 11th Plan target of 7.60%. Chhattisgarh achieved an average growth of 9.71% during the four-year period, against a target of 8.60%.
In case of Uttar Pradesh, the GSDP grew by 7.28% during 2007-08 to 2010-11. The 11th Plan growth target for the state is 6.10%.
"The hitherto low performing states such as Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh have started growing faster than the national average and the state of Uttar Pradesh has achieved much higher than the target growth rate," the minister said.
He added, "This trend reflects gradual movement towards convergence in economic attainment across states and reduction in economic disparities."
Maharashtra's economy expanded by 9.42%, compared to the target of 9.10% for the period, while Punjab registered a growth 7.50% during the first four years of the Plan, against the set target of 5.90%.
All other states have lagged behind their respective targets during the first four years of the 11th Five Year Plan.
Kumar attributed the failure of other states to reach their growth targets on factors like the global economic crisis and low agricultural productivity due to bad monsoon.
The All-India GDP growth during the four years stood at 8.15%. The 11th Plan had originally envisaged GDP growth to average 9% during the 2007-12 period. It was, however, scaled down to around 8.1%, on account of the global economic downturn of 2008-09.
Kumar added that reduction of inter-state disparities has been the priority of the government's development policy.
"The policy instruments for minimising the inter-state disparity include Plan and non-Plan transfer of resources from the Centre to states and favouring less developed states, tax incentives for setting up of private industries in the backward regions etc," he said.
The minister said a number of schemes have been taken to reduce income disparity between states and mentioned the Backward Regions Grant Fund, the Hill Area Development Programme and the Border Area Development Programme.
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