The Planning Commission on Thursday finalised the state’s annual plan at Rs. 49,000 crore, an increase of nearly Rs. 2,000 crore from the original plan presented to the panel by a delegation led by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The commission, while accepting Chavan’s argument that drought-proofing plan of the state required a push, agreed to grant Rs. 1,199 crore for Gosikhurd irrigation project an additional Rs. 500 crore for building cement check dams as part of the decentralised water conservation programme in the state.
More than 10,000 villages across 15 districts in the state are facing acute water scarcity and Chavan had argued for greater central share for reducing drought including the granting of Rs. 14,000 crore for nearly 140 irrigation projects.
“The increase of Rs. 2,000 crore to the annual plan is a big boost for the state. The overall investment in the state has been raised by nearly Rs. 10,000 crore from last year. Several of the CM’s arguments have been accepted including giving heed to the state’s specific requests while implementing central schemes,’’ said KP Bakshi, principal secretary of planning department, who was part of the delegation.
The commission has also approved Rs. 12,000 crore as funds under central schemes, a hike of nearly Rs. 800 crore from last year. The biggest chunk of these funds will go towards National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
The total investment in the state for 2013-14 along with the Public Sector Enterprise budget (which does not include any central grants) comes to a whopping Rs. 92,500 crore, a jump of nearly Rs. 10,000 crore from last year. Commission officials appreciated the state’s 8.6% growth despite a global slowdown. But, the commission was silent on some infrastructure proposals.
Chavan had called for launch of JNNURM II for infra funding, introduction of the concept of national projects in big cities, more than 50% share by the Centre in civil aviation projects, opening of salt pan land for the city’s housing and calling for reducing the state’s share in railway projects to 25%.