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Punjab seeks 26 pc hike in annual outlay
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Stat-wise

2009-10

Rs 8,625 cr (pending approval)

2008-09

Rs 6,224 cr

2007-08

Rs 5,111 cr

2006-07

Rs 4,000 cr

2005-06

Rs 3,500 cr

Chandigarh, June 25
Punjab is all set for a quantum jump in economic growth. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will present the state plan outlay of Rs 8,625 crore for 2009-2010 before the Planning Commission of India tomorrow for approval. This is 26 per cent more than the Rs 6,224 crore outlay for last year.

Among the major proposals listed is the Shahpur Kandi project. “It is a project worth Rs 2,200 crore and 90 per cent of the cost will be borne by the Centre, with the rest being borne bu us,” Finance Minister Manpreet Badal told The Tribune.

He added that the state would be requesting the Centre to share the pay commission’s burden. “In fact, all the states have made this request.” Sources add that the state would be asking the Centre to share 50 per cent of the pay commission’s total annual burden of Rs 3,000 crore.

Manpreet said among the issues which he would be taking up with the commission would include a request to enhance the borrowing limit from the current 3.5 per cent of GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) to at least 4.5 per cent and, if possible, to 5 per cent.

He added that the fiscal deficit norms too would have to be waived keeping in view the state of the economy. “Even the Centre has defaulted on these norms, so no point having them for the state,” he said.

Manpreet said the plan included a proposal for “tailor-made” centrally sponsored schemes for Punjab. “Since Punjab is already at a certain stage of development, many schemes of the Centre are redundant. The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana allows us to build irrigation systems but not maintain them. Also we would be asking them to change the criteria for certifying someone below the poverty line in the state,” he said.

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