Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh presented the Best State Awards to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in "State of States conclave-2013" held on Friday at New Delhi.

Dedicating the award to the people of the state, the Chief Minister said, "The state has outperformed in various social and economic sectors and the award was recognition of the work done by it."

Singh said that the government has enhanced its health budget by 24 percent for 2013-14, and the state has a health sub-centre for every 2,800 people as against the norm of one for every 3,000 for hill states. It also has at least one primary health centre for every 13,000 people as against the national norm of 20,000.

The sex ratio has gone up from 915 to 972 and the number of registered doctors has gone up by 30 percent in comparison to an average 10 per cent rise in other states.

The infant mortality ratio had come down to 39 from 47 per thousand during last one year. Referring to industrial development, Singh said the state has set up 42 industrial areas and 17 industrial estates, and was planning to develop new industrial quarters at Khandouri in Kangra and Pandoga in Una and Dhobata in Solan District.

It has formed a land bank with 1,600 acres of government and private land for setting up new industries. He said that the investment had grown by nearly 600 percent from Rs 3,082.68 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 17,312 crore at present.

(Agencies)
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