Poor Performers

10/01/2018

Over two years have lapsed since the announcement of over Rs 80,000 crore worth Prime Minister's Development Package for Jammu and Kashmir yet expenditure in respect of several projects has remained less than 50% of the released funds due to slackness on the part of the concerned departments of the State Government. This is notwithstanding the fact that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is repeatedly laying thrust on proactive approach to expedite execution of projects. The package was announced by the Prime Minister NarendraModi on November 7, 2015 while addressing two rallies in Srinagar and in Ramban and the experts were of the opinion that package would completely transform the developmental profile of the Jammu and Kashmir provided it is implemented in a time bound manner. As per the figures of the Planning and Development Department, actual approved cost of the package was Rs 80068 crore but later it was revised at Rs 82452.66 crore. Of this, funds to the tune of Rs 27235.09 crore have been sanctioned out of which Rs 14910.63 crore released till date for both State and Central Sector Projects. However, the expenditure as on date is to the tune of Rs 11917.04 crore.
As far as State Sector Projects are concerned, an amount of Rs 4503.70 crore has been expended against the release of Rs 6356.16 crore. However, there are numerous projects in respect of which expenditure has remained less than 50% of the released funds despite lapse of over two years.
According to the figures provided by the Chief Minister, who is also Minister Incharge Planning and Development Department in response to the question of National Conference MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar in the Legislative Assembly, an amount of Rs 77.50 crore has been released for development of tourism in the State but the Tourism Department has registered expenditure of only Rs 31.46 crore so far. The slackness in execution of the projects is notwithstanding the fact that an amount of Rs 387.51 crore has already been sanctioned and can be easily released provided the department submits the Utilization Certificates of the already released amount. What to talk of obtaining more funds under the sanctioned amount even entire released amount has not been utilized by the Tourism Department till date. For Solar Off-Grid Home System/Street lights an amount of Rs 15.77 crore has been released but only Rs 48 lakh has been spent till date by the Science and Technology Department. Astonishingly, not even a single penny has been expended till date despite release of Rs 1.94 crore for implementation/installation of 15 small projects by Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA). If the Government fails to ensure expeditious execution of the projects it may not be able to avail full benefit of Rs 82452.66 crore worth Prime Minister's Development Package.

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