Plan panel pegs GBS at Rs3.8 trillion

Plan panel pegs GBS at Rs3.8 trillion

New Delhi: Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, India’s apex planning body, will meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday and ask for Rs3.8 trillion as gross budgetary support (GBS) for the fiscal starting 1 April, an official aware of the development said.

GBS is the money the government allocates to various state programmes through the national Budget, which is then spent by concerned ministries and departments.

“This will probably be the last try that Ahluwalia will make with the finance minister and this may also be the last meeting over GBS," the official said, requesting anonymity.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance will present the Budget for 2010-11 in Parliament on 26 February.

If Mukherjee agrees to the figure, it will be an increase of at least 17% over the GBS in the year ending 31 March.

Ahluwalia could not be reached for comments.

Some of the increase sought by the ministries is to meet funding needs of politically sensitive welfare programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and homes for the urban poor.