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Home News Power Sector News Plan panel pitches for higher water, energy tariffs

Plan panel pitches for higher water, energy tariffs

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Montek Singh AhluwaliaIf the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission has his way, consumers may have to pay more for not just diesel, LPG and kerosene, but water and electricity, too. "Domestic supply is limited. We need to explore more options. We will have to import energy and domestic rates will need to reflect world prices," said Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Plan Panel. Briefing journalists ahead of the full Planning Commission meeting on 19-08-2011, Mr Ahluwalia said a growth rate of 9 per cent during the 12th Plan period could be achieved, but this required some "critical decisions and tough policy choices". Also, much would depend on the uncertainties in the world ending and stability returning.

The Plan panel, headed by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is meeting to approve the Approach Paper to the 12th Plan.

Outlining the broad contours of the approach, Mr Ahluwalia said the priority areas were energy, water, agriculture and manufacturing.

Also, some ongoing schemes could be converged, such as MNREGA could include watershed development, to enhance land productivity.

For infrastructure growth, Mr Ahluwalia advocated greater reliance on public-private partnerships, but systems have to be put in place first.

On poverty, the Deputy Chairman said if the country grows at 8.5 to 9 per cent, "I would expect poverty below 5 per cent by 2025."

In a new initiative, the Approach Paper has devoted a full chapter to ‘governance deficit'. This is particularly significant in the backdrop of anti-corruption protests building up in the country.

However, he said that the Plan panel could only draw a roadmap, but implementation would require political consensus.

Source- Hindu


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