Punjab outlays Rs 28.22 B for 2003-04

Friday, 25 July 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Punjab has been allocated an annual plan outlay of 28.22 billion, including a one-time additional central assistance of 500 million, for 2003-04.

This was against a demand for 32 billion, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said while providing details of the outlay after a meeting here Thursday with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission K.C. Pant.

Singh said the special assistance included 200 million for a scheduled caste housing programme, 100 million each for improving the environment, sanitation and the Khalsa Heritage Complex, and 50 million for the electrification of villages within six kilometres of the international border.

Punjab has also been given special assistance for restoration and construction of water harvesting projects.

Punjab's plan allocation last year of 27.93 billion too had included additional special assistance of 430 million.

Singh said during interactions with Planning Commission members, he had sought more assistance to help Punjab move ahead with reforms already underway.

The state had taken several measures to improve financial health. These include doing away with free power supply for the agricultural sector, rationalisation of user charges for social and economic services, improving the tax-gross domestic product ratio through better tax compliance and disinvestment of loss making state-owned companies.

Punjab has committed to the finance ministry that it would adhere to the targets of fiscal corrections.

Fiscal reform measures have resulted in reduced revenue deficit -- from 37.81 billion in 2002-02 to 37.66 billion in 2002-03, said Singh.

The revenue deficit was 42 percent of the revenue receipt in 2001-02 and it had been reduced to 34 percent in 2002-03, he noted.
Source: IANS
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