The plan size of Delhi is set to increase by Rs 1000 crore in the next financial year (2008-09). The Planning Commission on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to increase the plan size in the Budget to be presented in Delhi Assembly on March 24.
In the current financial year (2007-08), the plan size was Rs 9000 crore and it was Rs 3,300 crore more than that in the year 2006-07. The decision to increase the plan size was taken by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Finance Minister AK Walia, the chief secretary and the principal secretary (Finance) were also present in the meeting.
Delhi made a presentation to the commission on the component of the Budget and the outlay in various sectors. It had gone to the Planning Commission with an estimate that the plan size would be Rs 9000 crore as was the case in the previous year. The outlay to various sectors too were as per Rs 9000 crore. However, the Planning Commission recommended the annual plan size of Delhi at Rs 10,000 crore and asked the Sheila Dikshit government to give an increased thrust to the Yamuna clean-up Action Plan.
“We have recommended a plan size of Delhi for 2008-09 at Rs 10,000 crore, which is Rs 1,000 crore more than its existing plan, and Delhi should be able to utilise it,” Ahluwalia told a news agency after the meeting. He said the state government would have to emphasise more on sewerage improvement and enter into long-term power purchase agreements, accelerate the pace of infrastructure development and increase thrust on social sectors.
The commission appreciated the state government for facilitating metro rail projects but asked it to plug water leakages, ease traffic congestion and encourage paid parking, besides exploring the possibility of having Public Private Partnerships in drinking water supply.
Planning Commission on Wednesday assured the Delhi government that it would take up the inter-state water sharing issue with the Ministry of Water Resources to help the state tide over the current crisis. “The Delhi government has sought our help to sort out water dispute issue resulting in shortage of water supply in the Capital. We will talk to the Ministry of Water Resources and see what we can do,” Ahluwalia said.
With the new direction of the Planning Commission on plan size, the Budget papers would now be revised accordingly. “The Delhi Cabinet would consider the recommendation of the Planning Commission and then it would be incorporated in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister on March 24,” said an official.