New Delhi: Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said the state will achieve an annual growth rate of 9 percent per annum in comparison to national average growth rate of 8.2 percent.
   
Addressing the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi, Singh said Himachal will also achieve a higher growth rate of 4.5 percent in agriculture and allied sectors in comparison to present 4.2 percent by increasing farm productivity.
   
He said the state is spending more than 9 percent of its plan allocation on agriculture and allied sectors and requested the Centre to incentivise the state by providing at least 50 percent of state outlay under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during the 12th plan.
   
Himachal's 12th Five Year Plan was fixed at Rs 22,800 crore at the meeting on Thursday, which is 65 percent higher in comparision to the 11th Plan and is highest in the country.
   
The Chief Minister asked the Centre to assist the state in setting up food processing industry and sought a three-fold increase in import duty on imported apples in order to safeguard the interest of fruit growers in the state.
   
He requested the Centre to restore air traffic to the hill state to promote tourism and also provide subsidy on heli-taxi service on the pattern of north eastern states. He also wanted the Centre to liberalise financial assistance for expansion and upgradation of existing civil aviation infrastructure in the state and pleaded for extension of Shimla airport runway. Singh also demanded expansion of the road and rail infrastructure in the hill state.

(Agencies)

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