By Our Correspondent, Surkhet, Mar. 18: The Karnali Province government has formulated the first five-year plan. The Province Planning Commission made public the plan on Thursday.
Announcing the first five-year plan, Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said that the government was committed to implementing the plan.
He informed that a conducive environment for investment would be created in the province. He said that the government alone could not achieve prosperity and support from everyone was essential for that.
The plan has accorded priority to developing infrastructure in the education, health, production and employment sectors.
Physical infrastructure has been given priority in the areas of transportation, energy, settlement development, irrigation and drinking water.
The five-year plan aims at increasing economic growth rate to 18.8 per cent from 5.7 per cent in the next five years. The per capita income of the province is expected to reach USD 1,117.
Vice-Chairman of the Province Planning Commission Sarvaraj Khadka said that coordination, cooperation and partnership should be maintained between the governments of all three levels for the implementation of the plan.
Implementation cost of the five-year plan is estimated at Rs. 521.47 billion. Of the total cost, Rs. 279.82 billion will be invested from the public sector, Rs. 222.42 billion from the private sector and Rs. 19.23 billion from the cooperative sector.
The plan has been divided into the first, second and third phases with the concept of Karnali 2,100.
In the first phase, priority has been given to infrastructure development in education, health, production and employment sectors. In the second phase, the second and third five-year plans will be formulated and the long-term vision will be taken for accelerating development and prosperity.
In the third phase, the province will forward its activities to realise Prosperous Karnali, Happy Karnali during the Fifth Five-Year Plan period.
It outlines 12 main economic growth lines based on infrastructure and mapping of economic centres, including expansion of Surkhet airport, construction of Karnali air hub, development of hydropower along with development of Karnali water and expansion of national transmission line.
It aims at developing Smart City in the provincial capital, a city of Khas identity in Jumla and Dullu and about 200 safe integrated settlements.
Likewise, in the five-year plan, 10 large water resource projects will start to provide irrigation facilities to 70,000 ropanis of land through surface irrigation and 80,000 ropanis through new technology.
According to the five-year plan, it has estimated the investment cost of Rs. 40.64 billion for transport, Rs. 12.75 billion for energy and Rs. 8.95 billion for settlement development.
Similarly, Rs. 7.47 billion has been estimated for drinking water and sanitation, Rs. 7.10 billion for irrigation and Rs. 1.21 billion for information and technology.
It also aims to establish a Karnali herbal processing company and expand the production and cultivation of herbs and emp hasise extraction of petroleum products in Dailekh.