Montek lauds proposal to set up separate capital development fund

Kerala’s annual Plan for 2013-14 has been fixed at Rs.17,000 crore, which is 21 per cent higher than that for the year 2012-13.

This was decided at a meeting held by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his team with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his officials here on Monday.

Emerging from the meeting, Mr. Ahluwalia said: “I was quite impressed by the (State’s) proposal to set up a separate capital development fund, which will give much greater flexibility in deploying resources. We covered all sectors and we are hopeful that Kerala will do well, and may give an example also to the rest of the country.”

He said that many members of the commission had pointed out that in social areas, education, health, infant mortality, and so on, Kerala had been leading.

“Management of solid waste is a major problem all over the country, and the State government has expressed some interest in working with us to see various sides of PPP projects, viability, gap funding, and so on,” Mr. Ahluwalia said.

A Cabinet note would be moved to give greater flexibility to the States in the use of Centrally sponsored schemes.

Hopefully, that would be cleared by the Cabinet next week, he said.

“I have invited the State governments to submit recommendations on what kind of flexibility they want and as soon as we receive this, we will try to do as best we can,” he said.

Earlier, speaking at the meeting, Mr. Ahluwalia said Kerala had done well on all fronts and performance in the social sector was commendable.

It had set an example for other States in improving implementation through innovative approach.

It had grown at 8 per cent during the 11th Plan and in 2011-12, it had grown at 11.5 per cent.

Negative growth in agriculture was a matter of concern, and the State should focus on accelerating growth in this sector.

Mr. Chandy said flexibility would be allowed for spending on the Centrally sponsored schemes. Kerala would submit next week its proposal on the recommendations for use of funds under the Centrally sponsored schemes.

Mr. Chandy drew the attention of the commission to the Plan performance and initiatives taken.

He said Kerala was all set to grow at 9.58 per cent during 2013-14. The State government was keen to encourage students’ entrepreneurship in the State. In the 2013-14 Budget, under various heads, Rs.75 crore had been allotted towards this, he said.

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