Jayalalithaa asks Planning Commission not to overstep advisory role

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Monday asked the Planning Commission not to overstep its advisory and allocational mandate and don an executive role.

She also urged the central government to adopt a consensus-based, co-operative approach towards the State.

“I once again call upon the Union Planning Commission to effectively perform its core function of indicative planning and to play its appropriate assigned role in the growth story of the country,” Jayalalithaa said while finalising the annual plan for Tamil Nadu for fiscal 2013-14.

“I also call upon the government of India to adopt a consensus-based, co-operative approach towards the State to ensure better and desirable outcomes for the people,” she added.

Jayalalithaa expressed her strong opposition to “the executive overreach by the Centre and the attempt to insidiously bypass the state governments” through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

“Clearly, the Union Planning Commission is overstepping its advisory and allocational mandate and taking on an executive role,” Jayalalithaa said, referring to the instructions and guidelines issued by the Planning Commission relating to DBT.

She said that notwithstanding the shortfall in central assistance, the state would achieve the last fiscal’s annual plan outlay of Rs.28,000 crore in full or even exceed it.

“I would, therefore, like to assure the Union Planning Commission that the Annual Plan target of 37,000 crore rupees proposed by my Government for 2013-2014 is backed by adequate resources.”

The Annual Plan size had been fixed at Rs.37,128 crore.

Speaking about the “broken promises” of central assistance, Jayalalithaa said: “I am constrained to observe that announcing high plan allocations and subsequently reducing them, not only undermines the credibility of the entire planning and budgeting process, but also adversely affects scheme implementation and the States’ finances.”

She said during 2012-2013, the centre budgeted a release of Rs.3,473.48 crore as Plan Assistance to Tamil Nadu but finally released Rs.2,762.14 crore only.

Talking about her government’s achievements in various spheres, Jayalalithaa said the state government was planning to set up a 400 million litres per day (MLD) desalination plant at an outlay of Rs.2,500 crore and urged central assistance for the same.

She also urged the Planning Commission to extend additional central assistance of Rs.210 crore as her government has proposed to set up five desalination plants of 20 MLD each along the coast line of the state to augment the water supply at an outlay of around Rs.700 crore.

Speaking to reporters later, She ruled out forming an alliance with any political party for the 2014 general elections as the AIADMK party wants to win all the 40 seats (39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry) for itself.

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