Major Concern

With the present financial year coming to end in over two months, the state is gearing up for the new budget. While it would be interesting to see how the state deals with a number of challenges on fiscal and financial front in its upcoming budget, the delay of funds — a major concern that has now become a perennial problem for J&K— needs immediate attention.  Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that the state government was expecting release of Rs 1900 crore pending annual budget grant soon “as the issue has already been taken up with the Centre.” Interestingly, the amount is pending with the centre even as the current financial year is ending in just over two months. The release of the amount at the eleventh hour, as has been seen in the past years, puts the state departments in an awkward position inasmuch as either they find it difficult to spend the money in full within the shortest possible time, or if they spend, the productive use is not ensured. For this reason, many departments prefer surrendering the funds at the end of the year than to spend them in a hurry which could earn them audit paras. This is something that has happened consistently over past many years. We have seen that at the end of the year either the funds are being surrendered, or deliberately shifted from one region of the state to another. Of course a third situation could be visualized where the works have already been completed, expenditures booked but the payment not released for want of funds. But even in that case delaying the payment to the contractors/firms executing the works causes avoidable hardships to them and brings disrepute to government agencies. And from the economic point of view, such a practice is not good for the overall growth of any market economy. To arrest this trend once and for all, the state finance ministry needs to take up the issue seriously with the concerned ministry at the Centre and ensure that the funds promised or allocated to the state are released without much ado.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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