For JK’s financial mess, PCI cannot escape blame: Experts


Srinagar, Jan 30: Taking exception to Planning Commission of India comments on state government regarding its “poor” performance on utilization of funds and “tardy” execution of developmental schemes, experts here suggest that the PCI cannot either escape its blame.
 “The PCI cannot evade its responsibility for the financial disarray the state has been in for the past over six decades,” experts said, adding that the Commission had treated J&K on a par with other states in India notwithstanding its inherent political, social problems and topographical isolation.
 “The PCI has never seriously assessed and considered favourably the peculiarities of the state emerging out of inherent weather, political and social situations,” they added.
 “Notwithstanding the complex weather conditions of the state, the PCI finalizes J&K’s plan in July-August every year, and physical release of funds starts only after that period. Since the funds allocated are lapsable, it puts additional pressure on executing departments to utilize them before March end,” they said.
 “In case of J&K, the PCI has miserably failed in its objectives to improve the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of state’s material, capital and human resources.”
 “Despite ‘liberal’ assistance from the Centre over past 65 years, the state has witnessed a downward transition from self-reliant to dependent economy with all economic factors and ratios working against its interests.”
 Social activist and former president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander said that both the state and the central governments had failed in formulating a “growth plan” for the state which would ensure most effective and balanced utilization of its natural and human resources.
 “Both the governments seem to have misplaced priorities when it comes to dealing with the economy of J&K,” he said.
 Reacting to the under utilization of funds, Qalander said that the only way out to make timely and judicious use of developmental funds was to change the current fiscal year to the calendar year in respect of the state that had been a demand of the civil society since long.
 “Where the state government is responsible for timely and judicious utilization of all developmental funds, the PCI should equally be made responsible for any delay in the finalization and subsequent release of plan allocations,” Qalander suggested.
 He said it became very difficult to utilize the funds which were released for developmental works after December. “In sub-zero climatic conditions in the Valley and other hilly parts of the state, any work conducted during this period could not be of standard quality,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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