Thiruvananthapuram

Aggregate Plan size reduced

Plan re-estimated to ensure fund flow for Centrally sponsored schemes

The aggregate State Plan has decreased from Rs.26,786.32 crore to Rs.26,275.47 crore following the re-estimation of the annual Plan resources for the current financial year.

Planning Board sources told The Hindu here that the annual Plan has been re-estimated to ensure fund flow for Centrally-sponsored schemes from the resources of the State government. The Centre has initiated significant changes in the funding pattern of Centrally-sponsored schemes in the Union Budget for 2015-16.

The 14th Finance Commission has also done away with the allocation under the One-Time Additional Central Assistance (OTACA) to States and schemes awarded by the commission. Since more than six months have elapsed in the current year, a re-estimation of Plan resources has become imperative in the wake of the changes initiated in the major schemes. Following the re-estimation, the size of the State Plan will go up from the budget estimate of Rs.20,000 crore to Rs.21,578.51 crore, but the aggregate Plan size stands reduced from the budget estimates of Rs.26,786.32 crore to Rs.26,275.47 crore. The Finance Department has also approved the revised estimates and will have ensure flow of funds for various schemes.

With hardly four months left in the current year, the implementing agencies may not get sufficient time to utilise the resources at their disposal.

Paucity of time is a major hurdle for the agencies, mainly local self-government institutions.

As per the latest estimates, local governments have not utilised about 85 per cent of the Plan funds till September 30.

Against a total outlay of Rs.4,800 crore, the local governments could spend only Rs.743.55 crore. Which means, a large chunk of the funds apportioned for major schemes in health, education, and other important sectors would remain unutilised even at the end of the current year. The same would be the fate of the re-estimated resources too.

Expenditure of the re-estimated fund would mostly remain confined to issuance of administrative sanction for projects before the end of the stipulated period. Once the political leadership gets engrossed in the preparations for the Assembly elections scheduled for May, it may not pay due attention for coordinating the execution and the funds may remain unutilised, sources said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 10:25:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/aggregate-plan-size-reduced/article7868212.ece

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