ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State Plans : Unkind Cut

Unkind Cut Practically every state that has sought the Planning Commission

Practically every state that has sought the Planning Commission's approval of its Annual Plan for 2000-01 has had to face an unusual situation. The commission has been unrelenting that the size of a state's Plan must on no account be allowed to exceed the resources, including central Plan assistance, assessed in the commission as being within the reach of the state government, after taking into account the additional resource mobilisation the state government was prepared to commit itself to. As a consequence, in the case of practically all these states, their Plan has been watered down, regardless of the size the state government had provided for in its budget for 2000-01 which had been already approved by the state legislature. Also, for almost all the states, the discussions in the Planning Commission were held this year too late to suit the budget calendar of the states.

The position taken by the commission in its discussions with the states was broadly that while the Plan size approved by the legislature as part of the state budget could be allowed to stand, for the purposes of the commission the state's plan size would be deemed to be what was warranted by the state's identified resources as determined in the commission. This Plan would be referred to, in the commission's chosen terminology, as the Core Plan and the state government would be accountable to the commission for completing the Core Plan. Inevitably the Core Plan thus arrived at is smaller in size than what was approved as part of the state's budget. For the four states for which figures are readily available, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the Core Plan, as approved by the commission, is smaller by 6.8, 6.2, 13.2 and 10.8 per cent, respectively, than the Plan they had sought the commission's approval for.

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