Ensure Accountability

Greater Kashmir
Publish Date: Dec 11 2012 12:00PM
Sitting over centrally sponsored schemes, or not fulfilling the requirements for ensuring releasing of funds for the central government projects, has been an inalienable feature of the administrative culture in the state. For insensitivity and indifference of the state bureaucracy, the people of the state in terms of development have been paying heavy costs. Usually the state government attributes lack of development to the shortage of funds but ironically it’s the incapacity of government to implement the schemes that could change the development scenario in the state. The recent glaring example in this regard has been the state losing Rs. 200 Crores meant for the development of local bodies.  Under the 12th Finance Commission (FC) Rs 281 Crores had been  earmarked for the Panchayat Raj Institutions in the state. The state for its failure of fulfilling the laid down norms lost almost eighty percent of the earmarked funds.  An amount of Rs. 918 Crores have now been earmarked for the rural local bodies under the 13th Finance Commission but there are certain norms prescribed for utilization of the amount.  The state cannot afford to lose such huge chunk of funds for nonchalance of bureaucracy. It is not only in case of the local bodies that state has failed to utilize the funds under an alibi that the rural local bodies were not functional but this is true about rural development, urban development, health and education also. In case of rural health mission, regular reports have been coming in that funds received under the scheme are not utilized for the purpose they are meant for; funds either remain unutilized or diverted for other purposes.
 Two years back, under centrally sponsored RMSA scheme for    universalizing access to secondary education to the children in the age group 14-18 years, an amount of Rs 315. 35 Crores was allocated to the state. The objective of the scheme launched under national education policy was to achieve an enrollment ratio of 75 percent for classes  9th and 10th within five years by providing a secondary school at a reasonable distance of every habitation. This scheme also for lack of interest of the officers suffered a setback. The state government should  act  sternly against all officers found guilty of not fulfilling the laid down norms for getting funds utilized under various centrally sponsored schemes.