Toughening its stand, Government of India has stopped funding to J&K under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for permanent restoration of infrastructure, over the State Government’s failure to submit utilisation certificates of more than Rs 130 core it has received so far.
“As per PMO’s directions, further releases are not to be made until the State Government submits the detailed UCs (item-wise/scheme-wise) for the earlier released amount,” reads a communication from NITI Ayog’s to J&K Government.
Under the PMDP, Rs 2000 crore were approved for permanent restoration of infrastructure damaged in the devastating flood of 2014.
Till date, the Centre has released Rs 1178 crore to J&K. The latest development comes after the state repeatedly wrote to the Centre seeking release of pending Rs 826 core under the program.
The State Government hasn’t submitted UCs of Rs 134.91 crore released under 1st, 2nd and 3rd tranches, according to the NITI Aayog letter.
The Director, NITI Aayog (J&K), Kiran Gupta has now “requested” the State Government to submit the pending UCs and the “requisite information” to avail further funding under the program.
The NITI Aayog is monitoring the works taken up under the PMDP component for permanent restoration of the infrastructure damaged in the devastating deluge.
Under this program, the funds are released by the Union Finance Ministry on recommendations of the NITI Aayog.
In 2017, a team of officials from NITI Aayog had visited the State to inspect works executed under restoration program in Srinagar and Jammu districts.
The team had then expressed concern over slow pace of work in different sectors under the permanent restoration scheme.
“The work under some projects needs to be sped up as the pace is very slow,” the team of official had observed in its report submitted to the central body.
“It was observed that a few projects are yet to take off on account of pending court cases pertaining to higher education and forests departments for awarding tenders and selling off damaged property for want of bids at minimum reasonable prices,” the report had highlighted.