With the Centre “willing to do whatever is possible”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was confident that Assam would register 9 per cent growth rate in the 12th Plan. He added that the state was now “on the cusp of emerging as one of the frontline states” of India.
“I would like to see Assam emerge as a new engine of growth for the North Eastern Region and the country as a whole in the 12th Plan period. I am confident that in the 12th Plan Assam will be able to record a rate of growth of over 9.0 percent. I assure the people of Assam that the Central government will do whatever is possible to help Assam to achieve this goal,” Singh said.
Singh said that in the 9th Five Year Plan period, the state economy of Assam grew at the rate of just 1.51 percent. This increased to about 5.7 percent during the 10th plan period. In the first four years of the 11th Plan, the average growth rate was 6.8 per cent and in the last year of the 11th Plan, the state is expected to record growth rate of 7.18 per cent.
“Assam is catching up with the national average. This is good news but more needs to be done,” Singh added.
The annual plan outlay for the state, said Singh, has increased from Rs 3,000 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 9,000 crore in 2011-2012. The total transfers to Assam for the period 2010-2015, as per the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission, would be about Rs 58,000 crore against the total of Rs 24,000 crore estimated for the period 2005-2010.
Singh said that during his upcoming Myanmar visit, which is scheduled next month, he would discuss with the leadership of Myanmar how both the countries could increase opportunities for expansion of trade, economic cooperation and connectivity to the larger ASEAN region. “Assam and the other states of the North East can and should play leading roles in our efforts to Look East-wards,” Singh said.