Plan Panel Worried Over Shortfall In Budgetary Support

New Delhi, July 29: | Updated: Jul 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Planning Commission has expressed concern over the shortfall in gross budgetary support (GBS) for central Plan and central assistance to states and Union territories during the Ninth Plan.

While there has been a shortfall of 13 per cent in the Plan expenditure of central ministries and departments, shortfalls in assistance to states and UTs and GBS to the Plan have been to the extent of 19 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

According to a note prepared by the central finances division of the Planning Commission, the central ministry-wise utilisation of budget support too indicate deviations when compared with the priorities implied in the Plan projections.

In the note discussed in a recent meeting, it was stressed that the reasons for the shortfall in utilisation of Plan allocations needed to be ascertained and remedial measures have to be suggested. The note said that the shortfall was either due to downward revision of GBS at revised estimates stage or thereafter or due to the inability of the departments concerned to fully utilise the allocated amounts.

It would be necessary to arrive at physical targets and milestones corresponding to GBS allocated for the annual Plans so that the quarterly performance review exercise becomes an evaluation of physical achievements with reference to the progress of Plan expenditure, the note suggested.

The monitoring of generation of internal and extra-budgetary resources (IEBR) by the central public sector enterprises and utilisation of budgetary support provided to them may also be included as part of the quarterly performance review exercise, it added. The central finances division pointed out that the percentage allocations to ministries indicated in Plan projections reflected priorities of the Plan and deviation in actual utilisation showed deviation from Plan priorities.

During the Ninth Plan, the deviation, especially in the case of agriculture and social services & empowerment, was a point of concern. While the projected share of agriculture in total allocations was fixed at 9.9 per cent, the actual was just 7.2 per cent.

In the case of social services and empowerment, the actual share in GBS was 14.5 per cent against the 17.4 per cent. In the power and energy sector, too, there has been a shortfall. Against a projected share of 9.5 per cent, the actual utilisation was just 7.8 per cent.