Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the meeting of State Planning Board here today to approve the annual plan said that though this was a past practice of laying down and approving the annual plan but we need to do something different, which has not been done so far. We have to work for development of those sectors which hardly find mention anywhere. He said that we should work for easing norms for private players in vital sectors such as Tourism, Youth Services and Sports, Hydel Generation besides other major sectors.He said that we have to think 'Óut of the Box' for achieving the unachieved, for undertaking the development never witnessed before and not merely following past practices. The Chief Minister urged the officers to come out with 13 to 15 new schemes in the Budget session. "I know we have limited funds for the same but we can get these projects financed either by funding agencies or with the assistance of Union Government, but we need to conceive new ideas and submit the proposals", said he.Can we improve and strengthen the existing set up? The need of the hour was to give fillip and identify such sectors in which we can excel or compete with other states, though Himachal was doing best in many sectors, but yet lot more could be achieved.
Shri Jai Ram said that today the Government was announcing and sanctioning schools on demand of the people as and when being asked for, without realizing the fact that there were few schools which have not become operational from last 10 years of its announcements. Few institutions, whether be health, education sans proper staff, he said. There was a need to stop haphazard expansions in few sectors and give quality and not bundle ourselves unnecessary as this remain unfruitful and unproductive in future, he added.The Chief Minister said that we have to change the thinking that by merely announcing any institution in bizarre manner we move a step ahead towards development. He said that for development overall efforts and commitment was required, if we announce something we need to ensure that the institute gets proper infrastructure and adequate staff as well, provided we have sufficient funds to create or build such institution.Shri Thakur said that today time and again we talk of tourism, and its promotion, but have failed to conceive an idea as how to go for the big projects. He said that we should ponder how to manage funds from funding agencies and what infrastructure was required. He said that out of total Hydel potential of around 27000 MW we have just harnessed only 10,500 MW. Unless we ease the norms for private investors likely to invest in Hydel generation, we
cannot realize of becoming Hydel hub, he added.Just because of some limitations, as of say section 118 of HP land Act we are closing doors for private sector to invest vis-a-vis limiting scopes of employment and development, said Chief Minister. He said that the interests of the people of Himachal Pradesh were supreme and will ever be for him, but by putting some restrictions for ourselves, we cannot achieve the motive of development and be in the race with other states.Chief Minister said that the interest of the farmers and the people of the state was first priority of the Government and adding that altogether we have to explore new areas for investment. "Whenever there was a change it was either welcomed or criticized or protested, so we should be ready to face all these things if we want to change the economic scenario for well being of the people of the state and provide them with more sustainable livelihood opportunities as well as raise their economic standards", said the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister said that the Government was competent to protect the interest of the people of the state and also capable of planning and development. He said that we should follow those states who have achieved various milestones in sectors such as tourism. He said that we should find out what facilities and opportunities other States were giving to the private players. We should create a competitive environment for investment so that more youth could get employment and more households rise above their economic status.The Chief Minister said that he will give open support to the officers to go and think beyond imagination.