Rs 2,150 crore funds unspent in J&K in six years

Apathy among bureaucrats reason for incomplete projects

Rs 2,150 crore funds unspent in J&K in six years

A whopping Rs 2,150-crore plan funds have remained unspent in Jammu and Kashmir in the last six years due to administrative inertia. 

Official documents revealed that Rs 2,150 crore lapsed from 2007-08 to 2012-13. Of the Rs 34,750 crore approved by the Planning Commission of India for the state since 2007-08, Rs 32,591 crore was utilised, leaving Rs 2,150 crore unspent. 

The documents stated that of a total plan outlay of Rs 4,850 crore in 2007-2008, expenditure of the state was Rs 4,403.31 crore. 

The expenditure zoomed to an all-time high in the next fiscal when Rs 4,773.34 crore were utilised against the approved Rs 4,500 crore.

However, in 2009-10, the state again failed to utilise the entire fund. With a plan outlay of Rs 5,500 crore, the state spent Rs 5,280.99 crore. For the next two financial years, performance in utilisation of plan funds remained similar.

In 2010-11 and 2011-12, Rs 5,768.05 and Rs 6,357.40 crore was utilised respectively against approvals of Rs 6,000 and Rs 6,600 crore. 

In 2012-13, a massive fiscal decline was witnessed in expenditure due to slicing of funds by the Centre.  

Against the approved Rs 7,300 crore, the expenditure stood at Rs 6,008.74 crore during the last financial year as the Planning Commission withheld around Rs 1,200 crore.

Since the beginning of this financial year, the commission put the state in a tight spot for varied reasons. 

It withheld Rs 2,064 crore plan funds. In July 2013, the commission approved Rs 7,300 crore, which was Rs 700 crore less than the state’s projection. 

A senior officer in the state’s finance department blamed it on a lack of interest shown by bureaucrats in timely completion of works and submission of utilisation certificates with the commission. 

He also blamed a limited work season in Kashmir due to unfavourable weather conditions.

 “As if it is not enough, the fate of another Rs 2,000 crore Special Plan Assistance earmarked for the current fiscal year hangs in balance. It will massively affect progress of work on hundreds of small, medium and big projects in the state,” he said.

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