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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

National News

Private participation vital to expedite development in northeast: Plan panel

Friday - Mar 30, 2012, 04:08pm (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

New Delhi - Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has asked the northeastern states to encourage private participation in developing both physical and social infrastructure in the region, an official release Friday said.

"Private participation is necessary to accelerate the infrastructure development process," Ahluwalia said in a meeting with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar here Thursday.

The official release quoting Ahluwalia said: "While developing the infrastructure, health and education must be given priority. The state governments should adopt investment-friendly policies."

Ahluwalia pointed out that the commission was in the process of finalising the 12th plan (2012-13 to 2016-2017) and welcomed suggestions from state governments aimed at improving effectiveness of the central initiatives aimed at making the development process truly inclusive.

The meeting Thursday, after thorough discussions, finalised the annual plan of Tripura for 2012-13 at Rs.2,250 crore, which is 15.38 percent higher than the annual plan of Rs.1,950 crore for the current fiscal.

Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury and Chief Secretary S.K. Panda were also present in the meeting.

Appreciating the Tripura government's plans and policies, the plan panel deputy chief said that due to efforts of the state government, consistent progress in quality of life and income of people cutting across all sections of society has been achieved.

"Tripura was complimented for achieving satisfactory growth rate, particularly in agriculture and services sectors, during the 11th Plan period. It was pointed out that agriculture has shown a growth rate of 6.4 percent and 7.6 percent in the services sector. The 12th plan targets for these sectors would be 6 percent and 8.5 percent respectively," the official release quoted Ahluwalia as saying.

The Tripura chief minister drew the Planning Commission's attention to the problems being faced by the state in encouraging private sector to participate in infrastructure development.

Sarkar said: "The Tripura government will give emphasis on increasing trade, commerce, economic and cultural ties with Bangladesh during the 12th plan for giving necessary fillip to the economy."

Of the total 4,095-km-long India-Bangladesh border, Tripura shares an 856-km border with that country.


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