Punjab likely to fix Annual Plan for 2011-12 at Rs 11,000 cr

Chandigarh, Feb 16 (PTI) The Punjab Government isexpected to raise its annual plan outlay for 2011-12 by 22 percent to about Rs 11,000 crore compared with that of 2010-11,with major allocation of outlay be made towards energy,transport and social services.

"The outlay for the annual plan 2011-12 is likely tobe pegged at about Rs 11,000 crore," a senior official ofthe Punjab Planning Department said today.

The Planning Commission had finalised the Punjab''s AnnualPlan for 2010-11 at Rs 9,050 crore.

Like in last year''s plan, the state will dedicating majorshare of outlay to power, irrigation, transport and socialservices.

The state government would accord top priority to energysector in the annual plan in order to enhance power generationto meet growing demand. In the last plan, the stateapportioned 36 per cent of total outlay in annual plan towardpower sector, official source said.

Similarly, the state would also lay thrust on socialservices sector for skill development, employment generationand welfare of weaker sections. In last annual plan, 26 percent of funds were allocated to social services sector.

Transport and Irrigation sectors would be other two areas forthe state to allocate higher share from proposed annual plan.

Despite having record procurement of food grain from thestate, a clutch of factors like slow growth, rising debt andsubsidies continue to haunt the state, depicting its dismalfiscal health.

In a recent survey carried out by industry body Assocham,it was revealed that state�s economy could grow only atcompounded rate of 5.3 per cent against 8.7 per cent by thecountry in last nine years till March 2010. The state had alsoprojected it total debt rising to Rs 71,086 crore in 2010-11against debt of Rs 64,924 crore in 2009-10.

The survey had pointed out that state''s financialposition was characterised by insufficient revenues to meetrevenue expenditure, inadequate investment for basicinfrastructure sectors, stagnating social sector expenditure,pre-emption of high cost borrowed funds for financingcurrent expenditure.

Salary, pension and interest payments gobble over 70 percent of total revenue receipts of the state, leaving lessermoney in the hands of the state for spending on developmentprojects.

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