* Mufti expresses dismay over sluggish fund utilization, cautions administration
* Plan outlay for Ramban increased by 173%, for Udhampur by 194%
Expressing dismay over inadequate utilization of funds, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today called for expeditious and effective usage of allocated money to get the desired results on the ground.
“Unfortunately, the track record of the State in utilizing the allocated funds has not been up to the mark resulting in development deficit in key sectors,” Chief Minister said while chairing the District Development Board meeting of Udhampur and Ramban districts here today. He said it is dispiriting to note that on an average utilization of funds under centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) has been hovering around 40 percent only during the past few years.
He said the officers will be made accountable for implementation of all the programs and schemes and utilization of funds under their jurisdiction. “Your performance will be judged on the basis of implementation of the programs on ground,” he told the officers present in the meeting.
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Minister for Health and Medical Education Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb A Drabu, Minister of State for Finance Mr Pawan Gupta, Member of Parliament Shamsher Singh Manhas, MLC Sham Lal Bhagat, Vice-Chairman Kissan Advisory Board Daljeet Singh, MLA Ramnagar R S Pathania, MLA Chenani Dina Nath Bhagat and MLA Reasi Ajay Nanda were also present.
The Chief Minister directed the officers to frequently tour the remote and hilly areas to monitor the development works pertaining to their departments so that better results could be ensured on the ground with no compromise on the quality of works. He hoped that the officers would put in sincere efforts in achieving optimum results.
He said regular follow-up meetings would be taken by the respective chairmen of the District Development Boards to monitor the physical and financial achievements registered by the district.
To bring transparency in the implementation of the developmental programmes, the Chief Minister exhorted upon the officers to take the Legislators of their respective areas into confidence by sharing the details of various government-sponsored schemes with them.
He asked the public representatives to monitor the development works and welfare schemes and send feedback to the Government. “If anything goes wrong on ground in implementation, apprise us so that corrective measures are immediately taken”, Sayeed said.
He said huge liabilities have been created during the past few years as works have been executed without plan provision. He said such a practice should be done away forthwith.
Sayeed also called for timely submission of the utilization certificates against centrally sponsored schemes, MPLADS and schemes falling under the Finance Commission Award. He said delay in submission of the utilization certificates causes unnecessary delay in release of funds. “The DDCs should ensure timely submission of the utilization certificates to ensure regular flow of funds for development,” he said.
Mufti Sayeed observed that while officers are proactive in executing the works but they need to invest in translating the ideas into reality.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over the inordinate delay in land acquisition cases particularly the ones pending in the courts. He directed to the concerned to pursue the cases vigorously to expedite work on various incomplete developmental projects.
On the issue of dearth of staff particularly in health and education sectors raised by the legislators, Sayeed said now that the new Recruitment Policy has been put into implementation, I am confident that the vacancies will be filled up at the earliest.
The Chief Minister, who is also Incharge Planning Minister, announced an outlay of Rs 166.32 crore for Udhampur for the year 2015-16 and Rs 116.27 crore for district Ramban. He said eight schemes worth Rs 52 crore have been taken up in the Udhampur district under NABARD during the year 2014-15.
The meeting was informed that against the outlay of Rs 85.54 crore for 2014-15 for Udhampur, actual availability was Rs 54.32 crore, whereas the actual expenditure was Rs 49.49 crore.
Similarly, the plan outlay for Ramban district for 2014-15 was Rs 67.30 crore which was revised to Rs 58.58 crore where as actual availability of the funds was to the tune of Rs 40.18 crore. The expenditure was Rs 38.07 crore (94.75%).
Stressing on launching job oriented subjects, Mufti Sayeed laid emphasis on introducing such courses at college and school levels which have better employment prospects.
The Chief Minister sanctioned Rs 56 lakh to be kept at the disposal of the DDC Ramban to be paid as land compensation for development of Government Degree College, Banihal.
Speaking at the meeting, the Finance Minister called for taking full advantage of the demand driven schemes, as the funds for the schemes depend upon the State’s capacity to spend. “Unfortunately our track record has not been good in this regard,” he added.
Chowdhary Lal Singh who is chairman of the District Development Board Udhampur called upon the officers to work with zeal and dedication to implement the decisions taken in the meeting.
The meeting also was attended by Principal Secretary, Planning B R Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B B Vyas, Principal Secretary Power Development, Sandeep Kumar Naik, Commissioner Secretary Housing & Urban Development, Bipul Pathak, Commissioner Secretary Relief and Rehabilitation Dheeraj Kumar Gupta, Commissioner Secretary School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Commissioner Secretary PWD (R&B), Rohit Kansal, Commissioner Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Dr M K Bhandari, Commissioner Secretary, PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Parvez Malik and Secretary to Chief Minister M H Malik besides Heads of Departments and Chief Engineers were present at the meeting.
Earlier, DDC Udhampur Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and DC Ramban Farooq Ahmad Shah gave detailed presentations on various projects and proposals for the development of the districts.