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Major boost for health, education

delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2011 23:33 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Two sectors – health and education – can expect its allocation in the 2011-12 budget to increase by one-fourth as the two sectors have not got sufficient funds in the first fours of the 11th five year plan.

The Planning Commission had set a target of spending Rs 14,21,000 crore during the 11th plan but only Rs 10,11,000 crore could be provided till 2010-11, meaning a shortfall of 42 %, owing to two years of economic slow down.

“Increase of this order is obviously out of question,” a top plan panel official said and added that an overall gross budgetary support in the next budget to be around Rs 4,35,000 crore is being expected.

Of the increase in GBS of around 15 %, the highest increase in allocations would be for health and education sectors.

Budget jugglery

Financial target for 11th five year plan (2007-08 to 2011-12): Rs 14,21,000 crore
Provided in first four years : Rs 10,11,000 crore.
Shortfall : 42 %.

What the ministries expect to get:
Budget 2010-11 Budget 2011-12

HRD 42,036 cr 54,600 cr
Health 22,300 cr 27,800 cr
WCD 11,000 cr 14,000 cr
Rural Dev. 79,340 cr 93,000 cr
Power 10,630 cr 12,500 cr
Road 18,000 cr 21,500 cr
Science & Tech 4,824 cr 5,500 cr
Urban Development 5,400 cr 6,200 cr
Minority 2,600 cr 3,000 cr

The panel has found that these sectors were under-funded compared to the original 11th plan allocation as compared to rural development and power. A reason for it was that health and education ministries were not ready to spend the amount in line with the 11th five-year targets.

Now the spending capacities of the ministries have improved the panel has recommended a higher allocation. “They can spend more if the resources are made available,” the official said.

As a result, the panel has recommended Rs 28,000 for health ministry for the budget 2011-12 as compared to Rs 22,300 in the last budget.

Education is expected to get a higher increase with the panel recommending a 40% hike for flagship programme Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and over 30 % increase for the human resources development ministry. Higher education, which got Rs 11,000 crore in last fiscal, may witness an increase of 30% in the budget.

None of the other Central government ministries can expect a similar treatment. Not even, power and rural development ministries, which received huge money in the last four years. Only women and child development ministry on account of Integrated Child Development Scheme can expect an increase of about 26 %.

For the next budget, the respective increase in allocation of power and rural development is expected be around 17 %. World’s biggest job guarantee scheme the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) may get just 7.5 % hike as compared to Rs 39,100 crore in 2010-11.

While the social sector ministries such as urban development, social justice and empowerment and minority affairs may expect an increase between 10 to 15 %, the hike for other ministries may be as low as 5%.