J&K spends only 28% of PMDP funds in 2018-19

The government of Jammu and Kashmir has spent only 28 percent or Rs 2300 crore during the last financial year out of the Rs 8000 crore released under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Program, pointing to a high degree of inefficiency. 

The information came to fore during a recent meeting convened by advisor to Governor K Skandan to review the capex budget of the financial year 2019-20.

In the meeting, the government departments were slammed over dismal performance under PMDP during the last financial year. The administrative secretaries were asked to identify and remove bottlenecks for timely execution of developmental works budgeted for current financial year under PMDP.

“The government departments were asked to furnish timely Utilisation Certificates (UCs) to government of India for leveraging more funds under centrally sponsored schemes,” read the minutes of the meeting released by the government.

The meeting was convened on May 7 and was attended by all advisors, chief secretary and administrative secretaries of various departments.

Principal Secretary, finance department raised concerns over the slow pace of developmental works and expenditure during the first month of current financial “primarily due to model code of conduct” and asked the departments to make up the lost time.

“The administrative secretaries were asked to point out issues faced in execution of works in timely manner,” the meeting minutes read.

The state’s chief secretary has expressed concern over slow pace of development works and asked the government departments that the problems caused due to past legacies need to be addressed.

“New works need to be completed timely while ensuring complete adherence to the pre-requisite formalities,” read the minutes.

The district deputy commissioners were also asked to identify the cause of delay in works in consultation with all the government departments.

In the meeting, the advisors have opposed allotment of works given on nomination basis and asked the departments to strictly avoid the practice.

“Such practice is highly undesirable and defeats the purpose of actual discovery of price. It is against norms and canon of financial propriety,” read the minutes.

It was stated in the meeting that allotment of works on nomination basis was also against the law as laid down by the Supreme Court.

In wake of this, the government departments including corporations, JKPSCC, Police Housing corporations were asked to follow tendering process for allotment of works.

The administrative secretaries were also slammed for not furnishing bills of the works approved under languishing projects.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the government has laid down the target of 1000 project to be completed during the current financial year.

The advisors and the chief secretary also pulled up the administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners for not submitting state plans and district plans of developmental works.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioners who attended the meeting through video conference raised concern over dismal allocation under district capex budget particularly under agriculture and allied sectors.