ATR shows gap 'tween words and deeds

A cursory glance at the “Action Taken Report on Budget 2009-10” tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Monday reveals that the government has a lot of ground to cover to meet the planned expenditure target set for some of its populist programmes during the current fiscal.

Take for instance,  the government’s ambitious Suvarna Gramodaya Yojane programme for providing quality infrastructure facilities in villages. Out of the Rs 300 crore provided for the scheme in the budget for 2009-10, only Rs 150.2 crore has been released till December 31, 2009.  Another Rs 150 crore will now have to be released in three months to meet the budgetary promise.

The government had made a budgetary commitment of Rs 150 crore for interest subsidy for providing farm loans at three per cent interest through cooperative institutions. However, the ATR puts the subsidy component at Rs 86.35 crore of which Rs 38.73 crore has been released.

Of the Rs 100 crore allotted for promoting organic farming, the ATR states that Rs 50 crore has been released of which a meagre Rs 8.6 crore has been spent till December last year for implementation of organic mission programmes.

 Some programmes have not even reached the implementation stage. The state budget 2009-10 had proposed 500 foot-bridges at the cost of Rs 25 crore for improving road connectivity to remote villages in Malnad. According to the ATR, the proposal has been scaled down to Rs 10 crore and the only progress is that the proposal has been sent to NABARD. Last year’s budget had earmarked Rs 50 crore for construction of backward classes hostel during 2009-10 but according to the ATR only Rs 5 crore has been released so far.

The government had promised to construct three lakh houses under Ashraya scheme and one lakh houses under Indira Awas Yojana at a project cost of Rs 1,200 crore. However, till Dec 2009, the total amount released to the implementing agencies is Rs 268 crore!

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