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`Plan funds for local bodies to be utilised fully'

Our Bureau

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Sept 18

THE State Finance Minister, Mr K. Sankaranarayanan, has said that the Government will ensure that allocations being earmarked to the local bodies under the 10th Five-Year Plan would be utilised in their entirety.

The Minister observed this while addressing a State-level meeting of Block Panchayat Presidents and Vice-Presidents which discussed various problems relating to finalisation of the Plan document.

The State Government had allocated an unprecedented Rs 4,026 crore for its Annual Plan 2002-03.

A third of this amount is sought to be allocated to the local self-Governments, the Minister said.

He recalled that last year, the severe cash crunch had forced the Government to default on timely allocations of Plan funds.

As part of the renewed drive to ease the functioning of the local bodies, the Government was actively considering the lifting of treasury controls in respect of a number of expenditure heads.

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