Plan expenditure of two ministries, Power and Labour & Employment, may be retained at the current fiscal level of Rs 10,130 crore in the forthcoming Budget in view of the widening fiscal deficit.

The Planning Commission has recommended this to the Finance Ministry, since both ministries are close to exhausting their outlays in the first three years of what they should be spending during the entire 11th Plan (2007-12).

“The Plan expenditure for ministries of Labour and Power may not see any increase in the 2010-11 Budget as the Plan panel has recommended to do so,” a source said.

This is despite the fact that the ministries have asked for increase in the Plan outlay.

“The Commission’s recommendations came in view of the pressure to bring down the fiscal deficit in 2010-11 from the projected 6.8 per cent level during this fiscal”, the source pointed out.

Earlier, Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen had said that with the Plan size of the current fiscal, some ministries or departments would be either nearing or exceeding their 11th Plan (2007-12) expenditure targets in 2010-11 itself.

Cutting down the Power Ministry’s demand for Plan expenditure by 36 per cent, the Plan panel has called for maintaining the outlay at Rs 9,230 crore in 2010-11.

Against the targeted Plan expenditure of Rs 30,451 crore during 2007-12, and with a Plan outlay of Rs 9,230 crore in the next fiscal, the Power Ministry would be spending Rs 28,849 crore. This would be about 94 per cent of the total targeted Plan outlay of the ministry during the 11th Plan.

The Power Ministry had proposed a Plan outlay of about Rs 14,469 crore for the next fiscal.

Similarly, the panel has asked for maintaining the Plan outlay for the Labour and Employment Ministry at Rs 900 crore for 2010-11 against its demand Rs 2,900.84 crore.

The cumulative Plan expenditure of the Labour Ministry during first three fiscals of the 11th Plan is Rs 2,231.22 against the the targeted expenditure of Rs 2,499.60 crore during the entire current Plan period.

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