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Delhi durbar for panel nod

Patna, May 14: On a day when his political rival Lalu Prasad would address a rally in Patna to solicit people’s support for RJD, chief minister Nitish Kumar would be away in Delhi pleading for approval of the state government’s proposal of a Rs 34,000-crore annual plan size.

The plan size of any state is significant because plan fund is used for development work, whereas non-plan fund is used for recurring and other expenses. Bihar has witnessed a major jump in its plan size over the past few years. The state annual plan in 2005-06 was just Rs 4,490.80 crore which increased in subsequent years and touched the Rs 28,000-crore figure in the previous fiscal (2012-13).

The ground work for the meeting, in which Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia would also be present, has already started and a team of senior state government officials spent hours today discussing the finer points of the annual plan size document with members and other officials of Planning Commission in Delhi.

“Though deciding the plan size of any state is the domain of the state government, approval of Planning Commission is a must as it has an idea of fund flow from the Centre to any state and it also assesses the performance of the state in the past before giving approval,” a senior state government official, who is camping in Delhi, told The Telegraph over phone on Tuesday.

According to the proposal to be submitted by the Bihar government, the state plans to raise Rs 16,368 crore from its own resources and another Rs 8,798 crore through borrowing. Bihar’s proposal has projected Rs 8,834 crore fund from the Centre.

Though the official did not share the details of the proposal claiming that it would be released only after approval of the Planning Commission, he hinted that the emphasis of Bihar’s annual plan would be on social, infrastructure, irrigation, energy and agriculture sectors.