labels: economy - general
Plan panel seeks more resources for social sector projects news
18 October 2006

Mumbai: The full Planning Commission, chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh, will meet on October 18 to discuss the issue of allocation of resources for the social sector amid reports of differences between the plan panel and the finance ministry.

The planning commission is expected to put forward demands of several ministries that there should be substantial increase in social sector spending to meet the commitment of the National Common Minimum Programme, while the finance minister has been insisting on maintaining fiscal discipline to meet budgetary targets.

According to the planning commission, not much budgetary resources would be available with it and with the government to spend in 2007-08 if FRBM targets are adhered to. The commission also points out serious problems with the 2008-09 deadline for meeting fiscal responsibility budget management (FRBM) targets. The plan panel wants a two-year grace period for meeting FRBM targets. If the targets are allowed to slip by two years, a good start will be made and momentum will build up in later years when resources will be more plentiful, a note issued by the commission said.

The plan panel note also points to the projected nine per cent GDP growth which needs higher spending. And, with continued revenue buoyancy and limiting of non-plan expenditure within five per cent, enough funds will be available with the centre and states in the eleventh plan, the commission points out.

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Plan panel seeks more resources for social sector projects