Sinha, Pant agree on budgetary support amount for next fiscal

New Delhi, January 24: | Updated: Jan 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha and Planning Commission deputy chairman KC Pant have finally reached an agreement on the gross budgetary support (GBS) amount for 2002-03.

Although, the exact amount is not being disclosed, sources said that the finance ministry has agreed to part with more than Rs 1,10,000 crore against their initial offer of Rs 1,05,000 crore.

The commission, however, was expecting a higher GBS as it had already scaled down its demand to Rs 1,20,00 crore from Rs 1,30,000 crore on the insistence of the finance ministry. When the initial demand of funds was made by the commission in July 2001, it had asked for an amount of Rs 1,13,000 crore. However, after subsequent commitments and announcements of various schemes by the Prime Minister and other ministries it increased its calculations to Rs 1,30,000 crore.

The sources said that the final amount would be around the initial demand of Rs 1,13,000 crore made by the commission as it lies somewhere between what the commission is demanding now and what the ministry is willing to offer.

Mr Pant and Mr Sinha also had a one-to-one meeting which went on for more than an hour on Tuesday.

The deputy chairman had a telephonic conversation with the finance minister on Thursday when the agreement on the GBS amount was finally reached, sources said.

Both the parties are pleased over the development as now there is no need to take the matter to the Prime Minister.

Last year, the PM had to hold two meetings before the amount could be finalised. During the last Budget, a GBS amount of Rs 95,000 crore was initially sanctioned. Another Rs 3,600 crore was sanctioned during the mid-term review taking the amount up to Rs 98,600 crore.