Ahluwalia pats State for fiscal discipline

The plan outlay for Karnataka for 2012-13 was fixed at Rs.42,030 crore, a 10.4 per cent increase than the previous fiscal. The Planning Commission appreciated the State for its maintenance of fiscal discipline and overall fiscal management.

The plan size was decided at the meeting held here on Wednesday between Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and his officials with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his team.

Later, Mr. Gowda told journalists that the State had achieved the highest per capita plan outlay of Rs. 7,064 for this year, which was one of the highest in the country. The State wanted the Commission’s urgent intervention in seeking (from the Centre) higher central assistance to tackle the drought situation, increasing import duty on silk yarn, coal linkages for power plants, speedy implementation of the railway projects (including Bangalore Namma Metro) and amendment to Article 371 D of the Constitution for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.

Earlier in the meeting, Dr. Ahluwalia, commenting on the priorities of the 12th plan, said the plan would have incentive for efficient water management as water crisis in the long term were more serious than the energy crisis and both States and Centre need to realise the need to take necessary steps in this direction. He stressed that water use efficiency had to be improved urgently.

He said Karnataka had a good record in expenditure realisation as well as in fiscal prudence. The State could play a more important role in giving lead to other States in introducing technology for improving governance. More focussed attention was needed in agriculture and infrastructure sectors. “Investor friendly environment in infrastructure development is required and public private partnership should be encouraged to expedite development process,” he said.

Regarding economic growth and the State’s income, he said the growth rate had slowed down recently and was less than the national average. Special attention was required to give necessary impetus to education and health sectors, and the regional imbalance in social indicators should be set right. He stressed on the need to reduce disparities and recommended area based intervention.

The overall growth rate of GSDP (at 1999 – 2000 prices) of the State during 10th Plan period was 6.73 per cent against the all India growth rate of 6.99 per cent. The growth rate of NSDP of the State during the same period was 6.45 per cent against the all India growth rate of 6.96 per cent. The State witnessed a very high growth rate (in terms of GSDP at constant prices) of 12.60 per cent during 2007-08 which had declined sharply to 8.87 per cent in 2010-11. The per capita income in the State had also increased from Rs. 29,295 in 2005-06 to Rs. 39,301 in 2010-11, it was pointed out in the meeting.

Mr. Gowda, in his remarks, said Karnataka was one of the few major States that had consistently realized more resource than what was budgeted in the five Year Plans. “The State is likely to achieve an expenditure of Rs. 1,14,152 crore against an allocation of Rs. 1,01,664 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan,” added.

The State was among the few states to start the outcome based monitoring through the Result Framework Document developed by the Centre and was in the process of examining and implementing the Karnataka’s Expenditure Reforms Commission’s report, which focuses on the planning process, size and nature of schemes and subsidy, he said.

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