Rs 25,983 for K'taka: Planning Commission

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Karnataka
New Delhi, Aug 12: The Planning Commission on Tuesday, Aug 12 approved an annual outlay of Rs 25,953 crore for Karnataka for 2008-09 giving an increase of 46 per cent over the previous outlay of 17,783 crore.

The Commission's approval was granted after a discussion with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and state Planning Board Deputy Chairman D H Shankaramurthy at the Commission's headquarters here this morning. With this Karnataka comes at the third place in terms of approved plan size after Andhra Pradesh (Rs 44,000 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs 35,000 crore), Mr Yeddyurappa told newspersons after the meeting. The Chief Minister, who also holds Finance portfolio, said the Planning Commission was appreciative of the good performance of the state's finances particularly in terms of growth in tax revenues.

Karnataka had sought a special assistance of Rs 1,500 crore for this year to address the funding deficit to tackle the infrastructure needs of Bangalore city which needed a special economic package of Rs 8,500 crore for addressing infrastructure needs of the city. If the special assistance were to be granted by the Centre, the state would be able to mobilise the remaining money to be spent during the 11th plan period, he said.

The Chief Minister sought intervention of the Planning Commission in the Centre reimbursing Rs 1,880 crore, the money spent on writing off the cooperative debts of farmers in 2006-07 when he was Deputy Chief Minister and incharge of Finance portfolio in the previous JD (S)-BJP coalition.

''Karnataka took the first step and Union Government has followed the suit. I request that the Centre reimburse the amount that would come to the state in the normal course if the state was not to take this pioneering step on its own,'' he said.

Mr Yeddyurappa said he had asked Dr Ahluwalia to include Cauvery Basin Irrigaiton projects under Prime Minister's package for distressed farmers without any conditions like insisting on clearance from Cauvery Tribunal.

''We are confident of meeting the plan expenditure and achieving the targets,'' the CM said.

Power, he said, was another critical area which cried for Central Assistance in the state. Karnataka, he said had identified Kudgi and Mannur in Bijapur district for setting up Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) as earlier project sanctioned by the Centre at Tadadi in Uttara Kannada could not start due to local resistance. The Commission should prevail on the Power Ministry to inspect the shortlisted locations for which the land was in the Government's possession.

He informed Dr Ahluwalia that the state would enter into an MOU with Chhatisgarh Government for jointly building a 2000 MW power plant to overcome the power problem.


UNI

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