State 1 plans to boost per capita income to $1620 in 5 years
02 Oct, 2019
By Navaraj Kattel
Biratnagar, Oct. 2: State 1 government has announced its first Five-Year Plan with the aim of increasing the per capita income (PCI) by about 53 per cent in the next five years. The first long-term plan of the State aims at increasing the per capita income (PCI) its residents to 1,620 US Dollars (Rs. 184,680) by 2023/24. Currently, the State has 1,062 dollars (Rs. 121,000) PCI. Chief Minister of the State and Chairman of the State Planning Commission (SPC) Sher Dhan Rai unveiled the plan and said that it was the roadmap to create a foundation to achieve the target of ‘Clean, Happy and Prosperous State’ and support the national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. “Our country has a tendency to create plans but not to adhere to its policy. But we will act within the framework given by the periodic plan and will not go haywire,” he said. Vice-President of the SPC Subodh Raj Pyakurel said that the success of the plan would be determined by the internalisation of the plan by the local levels and State agencies as well as experts and civil society. The State Cabinet had approved the periodic plan on September 20 following the approval of the State Planning Commission a couple of days earlier. The State government has set a target to increase the Human Development Index of the State to 0.600 from present 0.523 in the same period. Member of the State Planning Commission Purna Loksom said that although the State had developed the plan, policy and programme as per the national plan, it had emphasised on leading the State to higher economic growth path. “There are 10 indices developed to attain the national motto of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. We have expanded it to 12 indices to achieve ‘Happy and Prosperous State’,” he said. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State is Rs. 550.29 billion (in producers’ price). If the government succeeds in increasing the economic activities as per the target of the plan, the GDP would reach Rs. 803.5 billion in the next five years. So, it has aimed at achieving 10.4 per cent growth rate which is at 8.7 per cent at present. The contribution of manufacturing sector will reach 24 per cent from 20 per cent now, and about 200,000 employment opportunities will be created. The plan aims at increasing the literacy rate to 99 per cent from 84 per cent and life expectancy to 73 years from 70 years. The SPC said that although the plan was approved after a couple of months after the beginning of the current fiscal year, its major policies and programmes were included in the State budget of the current fiscal 2019/20. It will soon develop the implementation framework while monitoring will also be made effective. The first Five-Year Plan is approved 18 months after the formulation of State government. The plan targets to construct 2,100 suspension bridges, 25 km railways, 100 km inland waterways, 100 gravity cable cars in the next five years. The State has about 14,226 km road network of which about 5,000 km will be blacktopped. Likewise, the access to electricity will be increased to 99.5 per cent from the current 91.4 per cent.