Central grants of Rs 1,400 cr lapsed last year

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil on Wednesday said that official apathy has resulted in the State losing funds to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore under 12 Union government-sponsored schemes.

Speaking to mediapersons after a meeting of the State-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, Patil said that in the financial year 2012-13, the State received Rs 6,275 crore from the Central government. “However, only Rs 4,875 crore was spent on the 12 Central government-sponsored schemes,” he disclosed.

The 12 Central schemes include Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA).

While the officers tried to justify the lapses, the six public representatives, including MPs and MLAs, were ‘furious’ over the laxity in spending the grants, he said.

The committee has now pulled up the officials and said that allocations by the Centre must be spent within the given time frame on judiciously chosen projects, he added.
Patil said that the committee also took note of cases where there were large-scale misappropriations and sought clarity on the matter.

Hike in honorarium

Under the NBA, the State government has decided to enhance the monthly honorarium of the anganwadi and Asha workers from Rs 75 to Rs 150.

The minister said the hike in honorarium was to increase their involvement in maintaining cleanliness in rural areas.

Village committee

The minister said that the department had ordered setting up of the Village Water Supply and Sanitation Committee (VWSSC) in every village across the State.
The proposal was cleared by the Cabinet in its last meeting and the rules have been framed for the committee.

Accordingly, the department has said that president or the senior most member of Gram Panchayat will be chairperson and the next senior member vice-chairperson. In total, the VWSSC will comprise 12 members, and six of them will be women.

“The committees will be the nodal agency for maintenance of drinking water facilties and cleanliness of toilets in the villages,” he said.

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