New Delhi: The government is likely to raise the gross budgetary support (GBS) - the amount of assistance provided by the Centre for Plan schemes-- by 15% to Rs2.60 lakh crore during 2010-11.
The issue was discussed at a meeting on Monday between finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The central ministers this time has been demanding 82% increase in the GBS, while the Planning Commission insisted on 18% increase.
In view of the urgency to contain fiscal deficit, Mukherjee indicated to the Planning Commission’s deputy chief that it would not be possible to raise the GBS beyond 15% over the estimates of the 2009-10, sources said.
Mukherjee, sources added, also asked the Commission to focus on the flagship programmes like Bharat Nirman, mid-day meal scheme and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) while approving the annual plans of ministries for the next fiscal.
In the Budget 2009-10, the government had provided a budgetary support of Rs2.24 lakh crore for Plan schemes of different ministries. Commenting on high demands being made by central ministries, Ahluwalia had earlier told reporters that they always ask for more while the Commission “tries to match their demands with available resources.”
The final figures for GBS are likely to be announced in the Budget expected to be unveiled on February 26.