New Delhi, Oct 4 : The union cabinet Thursday approved the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) that seeks an average annual economic growth of 8.2 percent and identifies infrastructure, health and education as thrust areas.
"It's an ambitious plan," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said after a meeting of the cabinet, adding that it gives a broad definition of inclusiveness and "expand interventions" in the social sector.
The Plan sets targets for poverty alleviation, infant mortality, enrolment ratio and job creation.
Chidambaram said the Plan stressed speeding up infrastructure projects, removing bottlenecks.
A full Planning Commission meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sep 15 endorsed the document.
The growth rate has been lowered to 8.2 percent from the 9.0 percent projected earlier in view of the current slowdown in the economy and adverse international situation. During the 11th Plan period, the average annual growth was 7.9 percent.
The 12th Plan seeks to achieve 4 per cent agriculture sector growth during the five-year period "critical to achieve inclusive growth".
Agriculture in the current plan period has grown at 3.3 percent, compared to 2.4 percent during the 10th plan period.
The growth target for manufacturing sector has been pegged at 10 per cent.
The Plan for final approval would be placed before the National Development Council (NDC), which has all chief ministers and cabinet ministers as members and is headed by the prime minister.