Indian Planning Commission hikes annual plan for Punjab by 15 percent to Rs 16,215 crore

Punjab CM terms the decision of Indian government to rollback wealth tax as victory for farmers

New Delhi/April 30
Indian Planning Commission hikes Annual Plan outlay by 15 percent to Rs 16,215 crore for Punjab for 2013-14 as compared with Rs 14000 crore last year.
The plan was disclosed after a meeting between the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of India Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today here at Yojana Bhawan.
A Punjab government spokesperson said that the approved plan outlay included one time Additional Central Assistance of Rs 120 crore comprising Rs 400 crore as 30 percent of Indian government grant and Rs 280 crore as 70 percent state’s share for the implementation of priority projects especially in the power, roads, health, education and rural water supply and sanitation sectors. Punjab government has proposed a plan size of Rs 16123 crore in Planning Commission of India (PCI) for approval which was subsequently hiked to Rs 16125 crore on the pursuance of the Chief Minister.
Badal said that the main thrust of the current annual plan was to strengthen social sector, infra structure besides the welfare of SC/BC, Women and girl child remained the highly prioritized areas. “The 15 percent hike in the annual plan outlay for 2013-14 over the last year’s plan was reflective of state government’s commitment to achieve its target realistically,” Badal said.
Badal observed that the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula was unfavourable for the state and urged the Planning Commission of India (PCI) to sanction a special package of Rs 10,000 crore to bail out the state from fiscal stress. He also requested that under the Gadgil Mukherjee formula 20 percent weightage should be given to the States’ proportion of SC population and 40 percent for General population adding that states’ contribution to the national pool of food grains should be recognized by earmarking at least 15 percent weightage to it in Gadgil formula.
Further, Punjab Chief Minister described the Government of India’s decision to roll back wealth tax on agriculture land as victory for farmers that was snatched from the jaws of the Congress and of defeat through immense, unrelenting and all round pressure brought to bear on an insensitive government which continued to play games with the farmers and their well wishers, it was forced to yield to the SAD-BJP and the farmers demand.