With NCMP In Mind, Plan Panel Asked To Re-align Priorities

New Delhi, July 27 | Updated: Jul 28 2004, 05:35am hrs
The finance ministry has asked the Planning Commission to rearrange priorities of the 10th Plan to bring them in tandem with the priorities mentioned in the national common minimum programme (NCMP).

In a meeting with Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday, finance minister P Chidambaram discussed ways to optimally allocate the Rs 10,000-crore provision made in the Budget for implementation of the objectives of the NCMP.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Mr Chidambaram said that radical changes in priorities were not possible in the middle of the year. We can make significant changes only in next years Budget. The Planning Commission will provide us with inputs for that, he said.

Highlighting outcome of the meeting, the FM said, We discussed the priorities, rearranging priorities and providing enough money for NCMPs objectives and allocating the additional Rs 10,000 crore.

Implications of an expan-ded Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and mid-day meal scheme and food-for-work programme were also discussed, Mr Chidambaram said.

According to Mr Ahluwalia, the Rs 10,000-crore additional allocation made in the Budget was enough to take care of the needs of ministries and departments in this fiscal.

Sources in the Planning Commission said that in order to make enough money available for carrying out priority schemes, the FM has asked the Commission to weed out irrelevant schemes and reallocate the money. While deciding allocation, the Commission has been advised to go into the absorption capacity of the schemes, officials added.

The Panel has been asked to re-work the entire gamut of Centrally-sponsored schemes by next Budget. According to officials, Mr Chidambaram has said that only schemes of national importance should be kept with the Centre while the rest should be transferred to states.