Punjab to benefit from INR14,000 crore annual plan | SupportBiz

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Punjab to benefit from INR14,000 crore annual plan

The Planning Commission approved an INR14,000 crore annual plan (2012-13) for Punjab, marking an increase of 22 percent over the last year (2011-12).

The plan was approved at a meeting of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in New Delhi Monday, a state government spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the approved plan outlay included a one-time additional central assistance of INR480 crore for the implementation of priority projects, especially in the water sector.

At an earlier officers-level meeting last month, the Planning Commission had decided to fix Punjab's annual plan at INR12,800 crore. Following the intervention of Chief Minister Badal, the plan was finally approved for INR14,000 crore, the spokesman said.

On the personal request of the chief minister, the Planning Commission gave in-principle approval to creation of industrial infrastructure in the border districts and training youth in specialised skills, a cancer research centre for the Malwa region, greater access to central funds in irrigation and rural development and other things, the spokesman said.

Taking part in the deliberations, the chief minister called for drastic recasting of the planning process in the country and said that the unitary form of governance, besides the centralized and top down approach to planning, had brought the country to the brink of an explosive situation, in which one-third of the country was afflicted by conditions of insurgency, Maoism and other forms of violence, said the spokesman, quoting Badal.

Badal pleaded for decentralisation of the planning process at the level of the states and sought that states be given greater power ­to adress their respective issues. He said that faulty planning in the last 65 years had led to the country still being one of the poorest in the world.

Badal pointed out that despite the biggest contribution by Punjab in the country's freedom struggle, various wars fought after independence and being the biggest food grains provider in the country, Punjab had never got its due share from the central government.

He said that despite its contribution, Punjab continued to get funds and support based on its small size and population.

Badal alleged that faulty planning of the central government had pushed Punjab into a debt trap of INR77,585 crore. He said that the huge debt of INR35,000 crore on Punjab farmers be waived immediately.