Nearly four years after Prime Minister NarendraModi announced the much-hyped Rs 82,452 crore package, J&K has so far utilised only over 40 percent funds of the approved amount.
The tardy utilisation, according to sources, is mostly due to “failure” of authorities at the helm of affairs to execute projects on time and “delay in submitting the utilization certificates of work done to the central government.”
“The Governor has viewed the tardy pace of work on the PMDP with concern. He has asked his Advisor KK Sharma to take up the matter with Administrative Secretaries and DCs,” said a senior government official.
“Following the Governor’s direction, Advisor Sharma held a meeting of all heads of the departments in which he expressed concern our sluggish pace on PMDP,” he said.
“The dismal performance under PMDP was also viewed seriously and departments were advised to identify and remove bottlenecks so that works under PMDP are executed timely which have been budgeted for the current financial year,” reads the note on the minutes of meeting chaired by Advisor Sharma along with Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and administrative heads .
“Chief Secretary directed Deputy Commissioners to identify causes of delay in the works in consultation with all the departments and resolve micro level problems. In case of ongoing works, he stressed that problems due to past legacies need to be addressed. New Works need to be completed timely and adherence to all the pre-requisite formalities needs to be ensured.
“Departments were further advised to furnish timely UCs to Government of India for leveraging more funds under CSS,” it adds.
On 7 November 2015, the PM had announced aRs 80,000 crore package during a rally here which was also addressed by the then CM late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The amount was later revised to Rs 82,452 crore.
In his speech, the PM had assured that the funds would not be a constraint “in building a modern, progressive and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir”.
This package was announced after the Kashmir witnessed worst ever urban floods in 2014, which as per government estimates caused loss of over Rs 1 lakh crore in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is pertinent to mention that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a report tabled in the RajyaSabha, had stated progress on implementing the Prime Minister’s Development Package had been slow and a “poor outcome” had been achieved in the past 12 months.
“Observing this pattern of poor outcome, the committee had recommended that the Ministry of Home Affairs should intensify its efforts to achieve measurable outcome under the PM’s Development Package by speeding up the work in the upcoming fiscal and implement all the projects at the earliest,” the panel said in its report.
“The Committee recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs, in tandem with the state government of Jammu and Kashmir should ensure timely implementation of undertaken projects the PM’s Development Package for the J-K,” the report reads.