Doesn’t add up

Just as a little over two months are there for the current financial year to come to an end, the state is yet to get Rs 1900 crore special plan assistance from the Centre. While the delayed release of the funds by the Centre has become an Achilles’ heel for Jammu and Kashmir, the state too does not seem to have learnt lessons from the past experiences in this regard. The misplaced financial and fiscal priorities of the government have more often than not translated into a confusing state of affairs, where disproportionate attention goes into cultivating resources and little thought is paid to their productive utilization. Showing keenness at the beginning of every financial year to seek handsome plan size hardly serves any purpose when the state remains slow on spending round the year, or the amount comes at the fag-end of the year making its full utilization difficult.  One wonders if the state government shows keenness to notch up the revenue targets ever year, why it does not use a similar scale to map up the progress on the spending side. In the power sector, for example, the government has ensured a sustained increase in the revenues over past some years, but little has been done to upgrade its infrastructure. It is a mismatch of sorts that while the state of Jammu and Kashmir has won brownie points many time in the past for showing remarkable increase in the tax realizations and implementation of the VAT, it has yet to set an enviable record for spending the funds within time.
This time around the Planning Commission of India seems to have taken a serious view of the state’s inability to submit utilization certificates under various centrally sponsored schemes. The PCI has refused to release the amount till the government submits Action Taken Report. The bottom line is that even if the state is able to get Rs 1900 crore plan assistance, it would be forced to spend it in a mad rush— something, the consequences of which the financial legerdemainists are not unaware of.

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

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