A review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Annual Plan implementation has concluded that the level of Plan expenditure was fairly comfortable at the end of December last year. It would now be possible to achieve expenditure more or less on a par with last year (92 per cent) during the current fiscal.

Plan expenditure reached 40 per cent by December 31, 2011 against 43 per cent at the end of December 2010. Spending under Central sector schemes touched 59 per cent. Expenditure for Power development went up by 15 percentage points during December 2011 to touch 30 per cent of the outlay. Still, it is less than 38 per cent achieved by December under the Annual Plan for 2010-11.

Use of Plan funds by local self governments increased to the level of 30 per cent of the total outlay in December last year. It went up by 15 per cent of the outlay in December in case of grama panchayats, taking the expenditure till the end of December to 31 per cent, Member Secretary of the Planning Board Subrata Biswas said.

Low Plan expenditure in the first eight months of the financial year had raised concerns. The situation was the result of a number of factors including the elections, late presentation of the revised Budget and shuffling of officials. The Chief Minister had called the review in view of this and he would again review the progress next month.

A high level conference of department heads and other officials convened by the Chief Secretary has decided that Plan expenditure would be reviewed by the Chief Secretary every 15 days. Department heads should communicate progress in Plan expenditure to the Chief Secretary. District level committees would be set up with the Collector, District Panchayat President and District Planning Officer as members to oversee implementation of the annual plans of local self governments.

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