Plan panel withholds Rs 1,900 cr to J&K govt

Work on hundreds of small, medium and big projects have been stalled in Jammu and Kashmir with the Planning Commission withholding Rs 1900 crore worth Special Plan Assistance (SPA) to the government, Sources told Deccan Herald this is for the first time that, even after the lapse of about nine months of the financial year, the State hasn’t been provided any amount under the SPA.

“The Planning Commission had asked the State government to prepare a detailed list of the projects it would execute under the SPA during 2013-14 before the release of SPA. Though the state submitted the projects, the Planning Commission hasn’t released any amount yet,” they said.

“J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is expected to take up the matter with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission of India Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia personally seeking the immediate release of the SPA in the coming days,” they added. Jammu and Kashmir has been allocated Rs 1900 crores worth funds under SPA, which formed part of the annual plan for 2013-14.

A senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity, said that there has been no valid reason for the PCI to delay the release of funds under the SPA. “The State government has completed all formalities and replied to queries of the Commission sought by it through various communications to the Planning Development Department,” he added.

For the current financial year, the Planning Commission had granted Rs 7300 crore, equal to the amount approved during 2012-13. However, during 2012-13, the State had ended up with getting only Rs 5800 crore as the Planning Commission had imposed a cut of nearly Rs 1500 crore under various components.

In the current financial year, the Planning Commission wanted to give only Rs 5800 crore to Jammu and Kashmir, which was strongly resented by the State government. After various hiccups and delay in finalisation of the plan, the State was given Rs 7300 crore, still Rs 700 crore less than what it had sought.

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