45% plan expenditure booked in three quarters

Spending To Cross 95% Mark: Sharma

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Jan 28: Indicative of tardy execution of developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government has been able to make only 45 percent expenditure of the Rs 7300 crore annual plan for 2012-13 during the three quarters of the current fiscal.
The government departments are running against the time to spend remaining 55 percent of the plan by March 31. Official figures available with Greater Kashmir reveal that the plan expenditure during the current fiscal was at 23 percent till October and 45 percent till December 2012.
Reliable sources in the state’s Planning Department said after receiving feedback on plan expenditure from various government departments, it was found that only 40 to 45 per cent funds were spent out of Rs 7300 crore annual plan till December 31 last year.
“The annual plan 2012-13 for J&K was approved by the Planning Commission of India in July 2012”, an official said adding the plan allocation was delayed for almost five months having direct bearing on the execution of developmental works in the state, where the working season is limited.
“One of the biggest reasons for the less spending is administrative hassles and extensive procedures involved for the execution of projects”, he said.
Surprisingly, the government on the other hand claims that it will cross 97 percent expenditure before the current financial year ends on March 31 on the pretext that billing cycle would complete in February 2013.
Principal Secretary Planning and Development Department, B R Sharma confirmed that only 45 percent funds out of the total annual plan of Rs 7300 crore were spent till December last.
“In the last fiscal, we had registered 97 percent expenditure. Most of the funds would be spent in the months of January and February (2013),” he said adding, “We hope that we will cross 97 percent expenditure by March 31.”
Another senior official in the Planning Department said according to the set procedure, the billing cycle of works executed by the contractors or managers, completes in February. “After scrutinizing the bills, money is released immediately. In J&K, there is no procedure of preparing bills on monthly basis or for that matter quarterly,” the official said adding, “So it is obvious that the figure would go up at the end of financial year. Only three to four percent amount of the annual plan remains unspent as was witnessed the previous year.”
Sources said strict direction has already been passed to all departments to ensure proper spending and to submit Utilization Certificates on time so that the remaining funds are released.
“Submission of UCs continues to remain biggest hurdles in utilization of funds. There were lot of clerical procedures involved in preparing UCs which leads to the delay,” sources said.
They said there are very less chances that un-spent funds may lapse as most of the schemes under which funds are released are non-lapsable.
Noted economist, Prof Nisar Ali said that the Planning Commission of India (PCI) follows proper procedures which is sometimes very time-consuming in release of funds. “So the delay starts from Delhi as the process of release of funds starts after a delay. And it is not that entire amount of the planned budget is released in one go,” he said.
He said since J&K’s work culture continues to be “lethargic”, spending money always remains a problem.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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