The 'new Kashmir', which the people of Kashmir had adopted as their programme as early as 1944, has been the target of economic development of the state ever since1947.
Planning at district and lower levels has been integrated with the programme of the region and the state as a whole and steps taken to remove regional imbalances wherever it has existed. Hence, there has been a progressive increase in the provision of the plan funds under the five-year plans.
The objectives of the Eighth Five-year plan for Jammu and Kashmir were self-reliance, increase in productivity, technological upgradation, poverty alleviation and increase in employment opportunities. Unfortunately, a major part of the Eighth Five-year plan period was co-terminus with the prevalence of disturbed conditions in the state. Therefore, the desired objectives could not be fully achieved.
The outlay for the Eighth plan 1992-97 was fixed at Rs.4000 Crores at 1991 prices. The approved plan outlays for 1992-97 added up to Rs.4969.50 crores at current prices. Because of the gap between the resources and the expenditure, the diversion of plan resources during the first four years of the Eighth Five-year plan, accounted for 15 per cent of the total approved outlays and 21 per cent of the outlays earmarked for capital formation.
The size of the Annual plan 1996-97, was finalised by the planning commission after the new government took over the state in October,1996. It was fixed at Rs.1250 crores. Additionally, Rs.4 crores were provided for development of infrastructure in the Ladakh region.
As per the revised estimate for 1996-97, the revenue component of the plan was expected to register an increase of Rs.2 crores and in the capital outlays, there was a marginal shortfall of Rs.8 crores.
The Annual plan 1997-98 happens to be the first year of the Ninth Five-year plan. This provided the opportunity to review the existing programmes and strategies and make appropriate shift in the inter-sectoral priorities. The size of the Annual plan 1997-98 has been fixed at a level of Rs.1550 crores, the highest step up given to the state so far.
The next plan has a revenue component of Rs.464 crores against the current year's revised estimates of Rs.334 crores.
A major thrust is being given to the infrastructural sectors, such as roads, irrigation and basic minimum services like education, health and water supply, which are in need of considerable augmentation. Power constitutes one of the topmost priorities of the state.