Friday, May 11, 2007

SIKKIM TOPS IN TOURISM EXPANSION


Casual labourers in Sikkim receive a daily stipend of Rs 100 – one of the highest in the country

NEW DELHI, May 10: Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura outperformed other North East states in terms of development during the 10th Five Year Plan, reveals statistics available with the Ministry of Planning. However, the performance of other five states in the North East “had not been as expected”, said the Ministry.

The Sikkim government’s Joint Secretary to Planning, Sonam Y Lepcha informed that Sikkim earned an unprecedented growth during the 10th plan period. Sikkim has invested Rs 30 crores in a state-of-the-art stadium.

Besides, casual labourers in Sikkim receive a daily stipend of Rs 100 – one of the highest in the country. In the tourism sector aswell, Sikkim emerged as a topper.

Nagaland Chief Secretary Lalhuma said the state has made “judicious use” of its funds during the period. Several projects have been completed and are now awaiting inauguration, he informed adding that, “more funds are always welcome”.

The average growth of the country during the 10th Plan is estimated to be around 7.2 per cent. Though this is below the 8 per cent target, it is the highest growth rate achieved in any plan period, informed the Ministry of Planning recently.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Planning MV Rajasekharan stated that the 11th Plan “has recognised the special problems of the North East, such as its geographical location, inadequacy of physical infrastructure and low level of entrepreneurship”.

The thrust areas in 11th Plan, as such, will include improvement of transport infrastructure, exploration of natural resources and encouragement to tourism, horticulture, agriculture and forestry.