Kerala pegs annual plan size at Rs 17,000 crore

The UDF government in Kerala has pegged the state's annual plan for 2013-14 at Rs 17,000 crore which gives more thrust to major projects, including creation of infrastructure and enhancing spending in rural sector through the local bodies.

The plan, drawn up by state Planning Board, that is Rs 3,000 crore higher than last year was approved at the state cabinet meeting here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters.

Vice-Chairman of Planning Board, K M Chandrasekhar, briefed the cabinet on salient features of the annual plan.

According to Planning Board sources, a significant amount of Rs 800 crore has been earmarked for major projects like Vizhinjam port and mono rail.

The plan fund for local bodies had been raised to Rs 4,000 crore from last year's Rs 3,000 crore. Bulk of this amount would be utilised for building rural infrastructure like roads and improving the existing network.

Also, the plan body had taken a critical view of underutilisation of plan funds by various departments and agencies and this had been factored in to make it more logical and precise, sources said.

In order to avoid this in future, the body has put in place IT tools to closely monitor unionisation of funds and progress of schemes, sources said.

The proposed plan would be finalised after discussions with the Planning Commission after the presentation of the Union budget, sources added.

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