New Delhi, (JPN/Agencies): A flutter of excitement ran through the power corridors of Bihar government when the Planning Commission on Tuesday raised annual outlay for the state by 20 per cent to Rs 24,000 crore with emphasis on power sector for 2011-12 financial year.

"Bihar is doing well. Growth rate has picked up. There is good growth in agriculture ... we wish to promote its growth process," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters after nearly two-hour meeting with state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to finalise plan outlay for the state.

"We have also assured support for continuing development work. This is the last year of the 11th Plan and we have agreed on a plan size of Rs 24,000 crore which emphasises many different sectors," he said.

Last year, the Planning Commission had approved the outlay of Rs 20,000 crore. Bihar needs to focus on the power sector. The financial performance of the sector needs to be strengthened, Ahluwalia said.Kumar agreed with Ahluwalia and said the state government is enhancing power generation capacity in both conventional and non-conventional energy sources. However, improvement is required in tariff collection from the users, Kumar said.

The Bihar Chief Minister said that in order to tap non-conventional energy sources he also met New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah earlier during the day. Kumar said he also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for settlement of cost escalation of project undertaken by the central government post Bihar restructuring in 2000.