The Telegraph
Saturday , January 5 , 2013
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Sustainable growth chant

New Delhi, Jan. 4: The ongoing Twelfth Five-Year Plan’s focus will be faster and inclusive growth with sustainability, the Planning Commission said today.

The move marks a change from the strategy followed in the Eleventh Plan in which the main theme was faster growth and inclusiveness, plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said.

The Twelfth Plan runs from 2012 to 2017 while the previous one covered 2007-12.

“Sustainability will not affect GDP. Sustainability and growth are complementary,” Ahluwalia said after releasing ‘Greening Rural Development in India’, a report by the United Nations Development Programme.

To achieve sustainability, Ahluwalia stressed the need for judicious use of natural resources, citing the example of water whose use he suggested should be regulated by an independent authority.

The authority, for instance, will make sure a situation does not arise in which a large amount of water is used on a small patch of land.

“It (such regulation of water) happens in some parts of the country,” Ahluwalia said.

Pricing is another option to ensure a resource is properly used, the plan panel deputy chief said, but admitted that it was “not always feasible”.

Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, also present on the occasion, pointed out that water being a state subject, the Centre could at most advise states on its rational use.

But Ramesh said all schemes being implemented by his ministry would put emphasis on sustainability.

“The UNDP has suggested several measures to infuse sustainability in the implementation of our programmes. We will act on these suggestions.”

The report has suggested that the ministry set up a green fund and prepare a strategy to promote green technology in all its schemes aimed at improving the lot of villagers.