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Finance Standing Committee meeting comes to an end

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IN THE CHAIR: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the Finance Standing Committee meeting at the Secretariat in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V.Ganesan
IN THE CHAIR: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the Finance Standing Committee meeting at the Secretariat in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V.Ganesan

R.K.Radhakrishnan

10 departments present their proposals for the current year

CHENNAI: The two-day meeting of the Finance Standing Committee ended here on Thursday afternoon with 10 departments presenting their proposals for the current year.

This also brings to an end the elaborate process of drawing up workable schemes from promises made in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam manifesto, matching them with funding options and projecting realistic estimates of what could be accomplished during the year ahead.

The Committee meets ahead of the presentation of the budget each year to finalise new development schemes to be taken up for the next year. Most of the departments made presentation on their proposals on Wednesday.

This year, since the general selections were conducted in May, the exercise could not be held before the start of the financial year.

The earlier government, which had presented a budget for the financial year, had taken a vote on account to meet government expenditure till end-July. This year, the budget will be presented on July 22.

Officials and Ministers from Public Works Department, School Education, Social Welfare, Small Industries, Tamil Development, Transport, Youth Welfare and Sports, Environment, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development presented their proposals.

All Committee members were present to decide on allocations and examine the proposals. Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi chaired the meet. Finance Minister K.Anbazhagan, Electricity Minister Arcot N.Veerasamy, Local Administration Minister M. K. Stalin, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S.Arumugham, Cooperation Minister Ko.Si.Mani, Public Works Minister Durai Murugan and Higher Education Minister K.Ponmudi are the members of the Committee. With the Committee approving the `part-2' schemes proposed by the Ministries, these will now form part of the budget to be presented. In the budget of the size of Rs.30,000 crore, it is possible to find `reasonable allocation' for most of the schemes proposed, according to representatives from a few Ministries. If there is paucity at some stage, officials feel trimming part of the finances from one or two ongoing projects without stopping funding for them completely would make more resources for the new projects.

This way, even without scrapping any of the existing schemes, some allocation could be made available for newer projects.

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