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States have enough resources: Montek

Planning Commission says they have in fact parked close to Rs 45,000 crore in government debt at present.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 15:54 IST

Disputing the argument that states lack funds for social sector programmes, Planning Commission on Monday said they have in fact parked close to Rs 45,000 crore in government debt at present.

"It is not right to say state governments do not have resources... As per the recent Reserve Bank of India data they have invested Rs 45,000 crore in Treasury Bills," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said when his attention was drawn to protests by states in change in funding pattern for literacy scheme 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan'.

He said the proposal to reduce the Centre's shares in the scheme to 50 per cent from 75 per cent was envisaged when the plan was started.

"Total resources are fixed. The SSA has achieved remarkable success at the enrolment stage but now the focus has mostly shifted to secondary education. How much start we can achieve in this (secondary education) will depend on resources," Ahluwalia said.

He said while the government should take a lead in building and operating social sector, substantial private investments can come in for other infrastructure.

On the highly ambitious target of adding 70,000 MW power capacity in the 11th plan as against the achievement of 30,000 MW in the current plan, Ahluwalia said funding for this cannot come from budgetary resources alone.

He said power sector requires Rs 5,00,000 crore in the next five years, which has to be largely generated by viable power sector. For making power sector viable, the transmission and distribution losses have to come down to 15 per cent from 40 per cent, which is possible.

First Published: Dec 11, 2006 15:54 IST