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CM to review draft budget

Ranchi, Dec. 7: Chief minister Hemant Soren will hold meetings with key government departments between December 9 and 11 to work out the plan budget for the next financial year (2014-2015).

Notably, road construction, welfare, human resources development (education), energy, health, rural works, science and technology among others have already been directed to prepare their draft proposals.

The chief minister will review these drafts and suggest changes/improvements, if any, during the three-day sessions.

Finally, the departments will submit the revised plans by December 14.

As per the draft proposals so far, the state is aiming a 6.5 per cent growth in agriculture sector, about 12.5 per cent in industrial sector and an 11-12 per cent growth in tertiary or service sector.

“The review by the chief minister will be very important. We want to increase allotment under the plan head by 10 per cent from this fiscal’s plan quota of Rs 16,800 crore,” secretary (planning) D.K. Tiwari told The Telegraph.

Tiwari added that every department had been asked to prepare district-wise plans to maintain a proper balance across the state and ensure every region gets its due share in development initiatives.

Moreover, sources said, secretaries of all the departments had been asked to ensure that panchayats collectively received 5-10 per cent of the total plan allocation.

According to sources, schemes that did not bear fruits would be dropped from the next fiscal plan.

The departments have been asked to focus on central plan schemes and central assistance schemes, apart from the 13th Finance Commission, so that the state reaps maximum benefits.

Apart from creating infrastructure, the next plan budget will also emphasise on skill development to generate employment.

In this regard, even as the government is trying to come up with a comprehensive plan for all-round welfare and development of the state, the absence of a development commissioner — a vital link among all departments to execute projects — is proving a problem.

The post has been lying vacant since October 30 when former DC A.K. Sarkar retired.

Moreover, the state’s Planning Board has always been a defunct entity. Its vice-chairman Debashish Gupta has recently been shifted to the Jharkhand Public Service Commission.