JAMMU, Jan 25: The broad contours of the next year’s plan proposals were discussed today at a meeting chaired by the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs A. R Rather. The Minister for Planning and Development Ajay Sadhotra was also present.
While discussing the plan proposals, the Minister asked the concerned authorities of Finance and Planning Departments to formulate the proposals with strong logic as early as possible so that these are forcefully put before the Planning Commission of India (PCI) for approval. He said that the requirements and the aspirations of the people should be the fulcrum of the next year’s plan, adding that the realistic figures that would suffice sectoral requirements of the State need to be projected in the plan proposals. The current year’s plan size is of the order of Rs. 7300 crore.
Economic Advisor to the Government, Jaleel Ahmad Khan, Financial Commissioner Finance, Iqbal Khanday, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, B R Sharma and Director Resources, Risham Kashyap were also present in the meeting.
Rather said that the State will seek a much bigger plan for the next fiscal as compared to the current year’s plan of Rs. 7300 crore. He said that the flow of funds under the plan from Union Finance Ministry under various heads is going on regularly and satisfactorily, adding that Rs.400 crore have also been released so far under committed Special Plan Assistance (SPA) of Rs. 1984 crore, hoping that the remaining amount on this account would also be released shortly as the State has fulfilled all the requisite formalities in this regard. It was informed that the State has submitted projects worth Rs. 600 crore to the Centre under SPA which have been approved by the Planning Commission and are being scrutinized by the Union Finance Ministry for release of funds.
The Finance Minister said that the allocation of special funds for development of bad pockets will continue in future budget proposals also as this arrangement has proved very beneficial. He asked the officers to prepare the Budget Cabinet note urgently so that the Budget Cabinet is convened in time.
Rather said fiscal deficit is well under control and the tax revenue is also expected to exceed the target. But the poor recovery of revenue on account power receipts is a constant worry for the State as it disturbs the fiscal management. He asked the concerned officers to ensure that improvements takes place in this area as well.
Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra asked the officers of Planning and Finance Departments to work in close coordination to formulate a people friendly budget.
The next year’s Budget is likely to be presented in the State Legislature during the first week of the March this year.