Govt receives PCI call for final meeting
JAMMU, July 3: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will meet Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at Yojana Bhawan in New Delhi on July 13 to finally clinch this financial year’s annual plan for the State, which has already been delayed as compared to last year.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Planning Commission of India (PCI) has given a nod to the final meeting between Mr Ahluwalia and Mr Abdullah on July 13 in which annual plan of Jammu and Kashmir for 2012-13 and Prime Minister’s Re-construction Plan (PMRP) would be finalized.
‘‘We have received a call from the Planning Commission for final meeting between the Commission’s deputy chairperson and the Chief Minister to finalise the annual plan of the State for ongoing financial year. Omar would be leaving for New Delhi on July 12 and attending nearly an hour long meeting with Montek the next day to clinch the plan and the PMRP besides having a detailed discussions on Centrally Sponsored Schemes and other projects for J&K to be funded by the Union Government”, sources said.
Last year, the State’s annual plan had been finalized on June 18. This means that this year, the plan finalisation has been delayed by 25 days.
Sources said Omar Abdullah, who also holds the charge of Planning Department, would be asking for Rs 7300 crore worth annual plan for current financial year and Rs 700 crore under PMRP besides separate amount under different Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
Last year, the State had been given Rs 6600 crore under annual plan and Rs 1200 crore for PMRP. This year, the State had sought 10 per cent step up in the plan as compared to last year on the ground that the Government had been able to nearly utilize full plan during 2011-12. However, the State has sought less share under PMRP from Rs 1200 crore of last year to Rs 700 crore this year as it hadn’t been able to utilize nearly 50 per cent amount last year. Moreover, a number of projects under the PMRP have already been completed.
The State Government was confident that the Chief Minister would be able to clinch Rs 7300 crore annual plan and Rs 700 crore PMRP for 2012-13 to accelerate development works in the State.
Sources said Omar was expected to take up the issue of special grant for power to the State, which was facing electricity crunch due to fast increasing gap between demand and supply and mounting bill of the Government on power purchase, which was expected to cross Rs 3000 crore this financial year.
However, there was very bleak prospectus of the Planning Commission agreeing to special power reforms grant for the State at this stage. The Central Government had given Rs 3900 crore worth special power reforms grant (Rs 1300 crore for three financial years of 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09). However, it was stopped later though the NC-Congress coalition Government had sought its extension for five more years from 2009-10 onwards.
The State Government in its annual budget for 2012-13, presented in the State Legislature in first week of March this year by Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, had projected Rs 7300 crore worth annual plan and Rs 700 crore under PMRP for current financial year.
‘‘A 10 per cent step-up in the plan over the previous year was a genuine hike. We expect the Planning Commission to meet our demand. The hike was not too much on which the Planning Commission could have any objections. There were many States, which have got over 15 per cent plan hike in 2012-13 as compared to 2010-11 including Maharashtra. Therefore, our claim of 10 per cent hike should be met by the Planning Commission”, sources said expressing confidence that the Chief Minister would succeed in securing Rs 7300 crore worth plan and Rs 700 crore worth PMRP.
The State bureaucrats had held two meetings with the Planning Commission Advisors and Members on December 15, 2011 and June 12, 2012 in which they had explained in detail the State’s demand and resources for current financial year and expenditure on plan and PMRP during last fiscal year.
Sources said delay in finalisation of plan for current financial year by 25 days as compared to last year wouldn’t have much impact on development works as the Chief Minister has already given nod for holding District Development Board (DDB) meetings, majority of which have been completed while others were due in the next few days. As reported, the DDBs were being given plan this year, which were similar to last year. The Chief Minister, if necessary, would make increase in the district plan, during review meetings of the DDBs in December-January.
Moreover, the State has already released 25 per cent plan amount for all districts at the start of financial year in April from its own resources.
Govt receives PCI call for final meeting