Drought relief to eat into district budgets | india | Hindustan Times
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Drought relief to eat into district budgets

The state's finance department is likely to cut down the annual outlay for a majority of the districts by 5% to 10 % because of drought expenditures.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2013 01:48 IST
HT Correspondent

The state's finance department is likely to cut down the annual outlay for a majority of the districts by 5% to 10 % because of drought expenditures.

On Monday, finance minister Ajit Pawar, who held a discussion with district collectors of Mumbai city, suburban and Konkan region to earmark funds for the District Planning and Development Committee (DPDC), pointed to the state's financial burden to slash annual district budgets for 2013-14.

The state government has spent Rs. 1,000 crore so far on drought relief works.

The DPDC is generally handed over development funds for every district, including small expenses such as upgradation of tourist spots and certain civic amenities among other things.

Sources in the department said that this was a sign of things to come.

The state's annual plan, which indicates spending on development schemes, is also likely to be restricted this year. It will stay the same as last year - Rs45,000 crore - or be slashed further.

"As compared to earlier, last year has been slow although we have met our revenue targets. The drought expenditure especially has caused a strain. There is also likely to be a cut in the development plan as compared to last year as indicated by the finance minister in the winter session," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

So what is the city likely to get from district budget?

Although the budget is not yet finalised, Pawar has approved a separate allocation for wall fencing of all government-owned lands in Mumbai to avoid encroachments. The funds meant for heritage conservation in the city will also not be slashed from its current Rs15 crore budget. In the suburbs, funds are likely to be kept aside for tourism spots including a special allocation to Film City. Mumbai suburbs budget is likely to be in the range of Rs140 to Rs160 crore, while the island city's budget will be less at around Rs. 120 crore.