India did not spent enough for the poor despite a commitment being made in the 11th five year plan. Health, education, women and children and agriculture got much less allocation than what the UPA government had promised.
In the information shared with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, the commission admitted that infrastructure sectors ate into the funds meant for the social sector, except rural development.
Both, health and education got just 60% of the funds projected for these sectors in the 11th plan, which the PM had described as a total health and education plan. The plan ends in March 2012.
Health got Rs 75,533 crore as against the target of Rs 1,23,900 crore. Education got Rs 1,42,659 crore, while the target was 2,38,600 crore.
“Health and Educatgion received less than projected in the 11th plan. Allocations for these sectors will have to be increased in the 12th plan,” the panel said in a presentation made to Prime Minister on Thursday. The panel also wants to reduce the number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CCS) to improve allocation for social sectors.
Women and child development managed Rs 34,982 crore against the target of Rs 48,420 crore, primarily on account of increase in allowances of anganwadi workers.
The plan panel had assured a modest Rs 54,800 crore for agriculture, but was able to provide just Rs 43,583 crore. And most of that money came in the last two years of the plan, primarily to fight drought and its after effects.
The commission was, however, more than kind towards the infrastructure sector which received much more than assured in the 11th plan. The urban development sector got Rs 23,312 crore as against Rs 14,261 promised. Railway got about Rs 18,000 crore more than the target in the plan period.
Despite liberal allocation, the panel admitted that there still existed huge infrastructure gaps, an impediment for India to achieve the economic growth target of 9% to 9.5 %.
The social sector also suffered in allocations because of an 8 % to 12 % increase in the government’s salary and pension bill and non-plan expenditure rising by about 14 %.