Small Scale Industry
Investment in Industry
Develop North East
Estimates for 1998
Assistance to States
Non Plan Expenditure
|Decentralisation and Expenditure Restructuring
47. Government have already appointed a Special
Task Force on Devolution of Powers to States, under the Chairmanship of Shri Bhairon Singh
Shekhawat, to examine and recommend measures for devolution of additional financial powers
to the States and additional or alternative means by which States can raise more
resources. The first report of the Task Force has been received. We are examining the
recommendations in consultation with the RBI.
48. The distinction between plan and non-plan expenditures in our budgetary system has
created several problems. It has led to an excessive focus on so called plan expenditures
with a corresponding neglect of items such as maintenance which is classified as non-plan.
Various bodies, including the Finance Commission, have advocated the elimination of the
plan and non-plan distinction in the budget. I propose to constitute a Task Force,
including representatives of Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, Comptroller and
Auditor-General of India and State Governments to examine these issues in a comprehensive
manner and to make recommendations for a functionally viable and more focussed
presentation of government expenditure in the budget.
49. A related problem is the proliferation of Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored
Schemes over the years. There is a need to rationalise these, with the objective of
reducing overlaps and duplication, modifying procedures and norms and making them more
easily accessible to the intended beneficiary. The Task Force, mentioned above, will also
advise on this issue.