Jayalalithaa takes a dig at Planning Commission



New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday took a dig at Planning Commission over discussions on annual Plan outlays saying the exercise appeared to mean that her state was being told how to spend its own money.

The Chief Minister's remarks invited a reaction from Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahuluwalia who said these discussions were important because Centre also contributes to the States' outlays.

The Commission approved the annual Plan outlay of Rs 28,000 crore for Tamil Nadu for 2012-13, which is about 19 percent higher than that of the previous fiscal.

Apparently irked at not getting adequate resources from the Centre, Jayalalithaa wondered over the utility of such meetings.

She felt such meetings amounted to telling the state how to spend its own money.

The Chief Minister said of the outlay of Rs 28,000 crore, the Centre's contribution was only Rs 3,000 crore.

"We have asked for Central assistance, additional assistance under various heads but that was not forthcoming. So, what this entire exercise amounts to is that we have come all the way to Delhi to have discussion and a meeting with the Union Planning Commission so that they can tell us how to spend our own money," she told reporters here.

Ahluwalia said in case of the bigger states most of the resources approved are funded by them.

"These are called annual plan discussions and for the bigger states, most of resources come from the states themselves and Centre gives some funds and then total Plan size is approved," he told a news agency.

The purpose of the annual discussion is not simply to give money, but to discuss issues, Ahluwalia said.

PTI