Himachal eyes Rs 3700 Cr annual plan for 2012-13

Shimla: Despite falling power revenues leaving gaps in resource targets, the state planning department hopes to get a nod of the planning commission for a Rs 3700 Cr annual plan for the next fiscal that is Rs 400 Cr more than the current one.

Advisor planning SK Shad says, “Member planning commission Saumitra Chaudhuri is scheduled to hold a meeting here on 27th January at which the 2012-13 annual plan is expected to be firmed up.”

He said that the state had formulated an Rs 3700 Cr annual plan for the next financial year.

Unable to mop up larger revenues from power sales and VAT realizations, the states ambitions of scale up the annual plan to Rs 4000 crore or more have had to be abandoned. The current plan is of Rs 3300 crores.

Though power generation at hydro plants in the current year has been more than last year, but sources disclosed the revenues are likely to be less than last year.

“It’s ironic that the more power you produce, the less you are earning,” said a senior government officer. Against last year’s power revenues of Rs 1100 crores, the current years mop up is likely to just about touch Rs 1000 crores, he said.

When contacted, principal secretary power Deepak Sanan said “average per unit sale rates have been dropping from Rs 7 per unit 2008-09 to Rs 6 per unit in 2009-10 to Rs 5 per unit last year and is expected to average at Rs 4 per unit in the current year.”

“Power revenues could be less than what they were last year,” he said.

The shortfall in power sale revenues notwithstanding, Shad says, “in the current year’s annual plan the major thrust area is power sector, which is likely to continue in the next annual plan.”

“Besides power, other sectors that get priority are transport, communication and agriculture sectors,” he added.

Facing a double whammy of lesser allocation under 13th Finance Commission and increased salary and pension bill on account of implementation of 6th Pay Commission, the state is banking on a financial bailout under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

With the planning department have cobbled together an ambitious Rs 27,556 Cr demand for the 12th Plan, near double of the 11th Plan, Shad says the 12th Plan is also on the discussion table for the next week’s meeting with the planning commission.

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