Plan expenditure, the government spending on social sector schemes, is likely to fall short by Rs. 6.58 lakh crore in the 12th Plan period (2012-17), according to the Planning Commission estimates.

“Even with 20 per cent increase in (Plan) resources for next two years, the resource shortfall is likely to be at Rs. 6.58 lakh crore,” the Commission’s official estimate revealed. During the first three years of the five-year policy period which began on April 1, 2012, government has allocated 40.48 per cent of the total outlay of Rs. 35.68 lakh crore.

Earlier during the UPA regime, the Plan expenditure since the beginning of the 12th Plan was curtailed for two years in a row to keep a tab on fiscal deficit.

During the first year of the policy period in 2012-13, the spending was pegged at Rs. 5.21 lakh crore in the budget estimates. However, the actual Plan expenditure remained lower at Rs. 4.14 crore.

Similarly, in the second year of 12th Plan, the spending was projected at Rs. 5.55 lakh crore in the budget while the revised estimate was at Rs. 4.76 lakh crore.

The interim budget for the current fiscal has pegged the spending at Rs. 5.55 lakh crore, thus the total Plan expenditure allocated so far in the first three financial years of the 12th Plan works out to be at Rs. 14.44 lakh crore.

The new government will present the regular budget for the current fiscal next month.

Now, it is up to the new government to find out ways of stepping up Plan outlay to meet the 12th Plan target, an official said.

The Plan outlay flows through 70 ministries and 66 centrally sponsored schemes.

The Plan expenditure of Rs. 35.68 lakh crore envisaged in the 12th Plan is 124.53 per cent more than the spending of Rs. 15.89 lakh crore during the 11th Plan (2007-12).

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