C. Gouridasan Nair

Quantum jump in spending during March

Spending on Central schemes exceeds target

Figures likely to go up when AG finalises accounts

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite a slow start and fears about a slowdown in the economy on account of the global economic crisis, Kerala could achieve a robust 87 per cent Plan spending during 2009-'10.

According to consolidated figures , the State spent Rs. 8,263.54 crore out of the gross Plan outlay of Rs.9551.90 crore. The percentage of spending is likely to go up when the Accountant-General finalises the accounts.

Last year, the State government had estimated 83 per cent Plan spending, but the percentage of spending according to the Accountant-General was an impressive 92 per cent.

As happens every year, there was a marked acceleration in Plan expenditure during March resulting in a quantum jump in the money spent on various Plan schemes. Only Rs.5,722.70 crore, equivalent to 60 per cent of the gross Plan outlay had been spent by February end.

The gross Plan outlay included Rs.8,920 crore allocated under the State Plan sector, Rs.882.90 crore provided as Central assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), including an assistance of Rs.62.75 crore from the National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC), and Rs.9 crore sanctioned as special Central assistance for the Special Component Plan (SCP) and the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP).

The most dramatic jump in spending during the final month of the last financial year was witnessed in the case of local-self government institutions (LSGIs).

The LSGIs had together spent only Rs.965.90 crore out of the total allocation of Rs.1,863 crore till February 28. But, by the time the year ended, they were able to lift their spending to Rs.1,830.58 crore, from 52 per cent of the outlay to 98 per cent. The overall spending last year was only 87 per cent.

Clearly, the money has not actually been spent but parked wisely for future spending.

Although Kerala has consistently opposed the increasing role of the CSS in Central transfers to the States, the State exceeded its Plan outlay under the CSS ending the year with 111 per cent overall spending for such schemes.

Last year, the State's spending was 124 per cent of the total CSS outlay riding on additional releases under various heads.

The CSS outlay for fiscal 2009-'10 was Rs. 882.90 crore and the actual spending Rs. 976.69 crore.