The state has a good record in fiscal prudence, says Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia

The plan outlay for Karnataka for 2013-14 has been fixed at Rs. 47,000 crore, which is 11.6 per cent higher than the previous year (Rs. 42,100 crore). The State expects to enhance revenue receipts from Rs. 53,493 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 62,780 crore in 2013-14, higher by 16.04 per cent. The State government will be presenting a revised budget before the State legislature in July 2013.

The Plan outlay for 2013-14 was finalised at a meeting held here on Wednesday where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his officials met with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his team.

The Plan size includes Central assistance to the State Plan of about Rs. 3,549 crore. In addition, Rs. 7,000 crore is likely to be given by the Centre to Karnataka through various centrally sponsored schemes. The plan funding from the Centre to Karnataka, from all sources will be over Rs. 10,000 crore during 2013-14.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ahluwalia appreciated Karnataka for its strategy to make growth more inclusive and giving right priority to the social sector. “The State has a good record in expenditure realisation as well as in fiscal prudence. It can play a more important role in giving a lead to other States in introducing technology for improving governance.”

Dr. Ahluwalia wanted more focussed attention by Karnataka in agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

“Public private partnership should be encouraged to expedite the development process,” he said.

Growth rate down

On economic growth and State income, it was pointed out that the growth rates had slowed down recently and was less than the national average. The new government should work out a strategy to take maximum advantage when the economy was on the recovery path. Special attention is needed to give necessary impetus to education and health sectors, he added.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, in his briefing to the commission, said several initiatives aimed at impacting the lives of the poor and marginalised people were being taken up. These include enhancing the milk subsidy from Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 per litre, which would benefit 7.5 lakh milk producing farmers, majority of who are small and marginal peasants. The unit cost of rural housing had been raised from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Subsidy for rural housing has been raised from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1.2 lakh. This includes subsidy for the centrally sponsored Indira Awas Yojana, as well as the State sector rural housing schemes.

Karnataka was committed to provide adequate outlays for the sectors that contribute significantly to improving Human Development Indices, especially education, health, women and child development, social welfare, housing, water supply and sanitation, and rural development. “Systemic reforms in each of these sectors are being initiated to improve outcome indicators,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Centre’s help sought

He wanted the Centre to help Karnataka in strengthening infrastructure for post-harvest facilities, restore customs duty on raw silk to 30 per cent to prevent farmers from opting for distress sales, and in helping marketing surplus milk.

According to a State government release, the government was giving emphasis on improving the power scenario of the State by adding 4700 MW of additional power generation during the coming years to meet the power deficit. Distribution losses would be reduced from 18.7 per cent to 15 per cent during 2013-14.

Railway projects

Karnataka also asked the Centre for speedy completion of nine pending railway projects to improve connectivity.

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