Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will have his hands full drafting the Union Budget, what with different constituents already moving to place their demands. The government can ill afford to cut allocation for social sector schemes, given the UPA's aam admi focus and charges of inflation hitting the common man the most.
In fact, some of the schemes such as rural employment guarantee programme are only going to see a higher allocation, while Mukherjee is expected to dole out higher subsidies to counter the criticism on inflation.
The finance ministry has already conveyed to the Planning Commission that it should only budget for a moderate increase as central support to the plan would rise by around 18%, given the fiscal pressures.
As a result, ministries handling social sectors have been sounded out by Planning Commission and the finance ministry that no new schemes would be welcomed during the last year of the 11th five-year Plan (2007-12).