A number of developmental schemes are sponsored by the centre and conveyed to the States for implementation along with the guidelines of how the schemes are to be effectively implemented and monitored. The purpose of floating these schemes is twofold. One is to help States in speeding up developmental process on all India level and the second is to bring about uniformity in developmental exercise so that it leads to closer cooperation among the states and consolidates economic integration of the nation. These schemes are in addition to the developmental plans undertaken by the States. One peculiarity of these schemes is that the Center promises to share the expenditure on these schemes under a given formula. In the case of J&K State, usually the formula is 90:10. This formula has been adopted in view of the financial, geographical and other components of the status of our State. Such schemes fall under the main heading of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CCS) though each scheme is given its own name.
J&K is unique among Indian States for a number of reasons. It is actually three regions not one; it is very diverge linguistically, ethnically and culturally. In terms of geography three regions are very diverse. Keeping this in mind developmental schemes have to be devised in a manner that suits the requirements of each region. That is the task which the State Planning Department undertakes. But apart from that, CSS are of general nature and encompass the overall requirements of the people in all the three regions. For example, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET), National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichayee Yojana (PMKSY) have been floated by the Centre and these cater to the needs of all people in all the regions of the State. This explains that if properly implemented, all CSS would prove highly beneficial to the people of the State and would lead to rapid development in all areas.
Unfortunately, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to derive maximum benefits from these schemes. This has been happening not now but since a long time and each time the question comes up why the State is unable to implement them while other States have done it and marched ahead of us in development area. Expressing his concern on this deficiency, Governor N.N. Vohra, while the State was under Governor’s rule directed that all efforts be made to implement CSS in time. When Mehbooba Mufti assumed the charge of the Government, she also emphasized on the bureaucracy to take all CSS seriously. Unfortunately, there is no change in the perception despite exhortations by the Governor and the Chief Minister, This is despite the fact that the Government had at one time constituted a committee to examine why it is not becoming possible to implement the CSS in the State. In order to make the implementation effective, the Government took the administrative step of bringing these schemes within the ambit of District Development Boards. Local MLAs happen to be the members of the DDBs and the aim was to make these schemes effective for implementation. Just to give an idea of how much loss we are undergoing by not implementing these schemes, it has been found that during the three quarters of the financial year 2016-17 only 47 per cent of the funds allocated by the Centre for CSS has been utilized. Although almost all departments have been the defaulters in this respect by not utilizing the funds in full, yet Home, Planning, Agriculture and Forest Departments have performed the worst. Shockingly even the Planning and Monitoring Department, which has the key role in implementing these schemes is among the defaulters for not utilizing the allocated funds in full. The pretext that installments are not released in time is not supported by ground realities. According to the figures available to us, as against availability of Rs 3894.98 crore only an amount of Rs 1814.52 crore was spent by various departments under Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The question is if such is the poor performance in three quarters what wonders the departments can do in last quarter remains a million dollar question. We would, therefore, emphasize on the Government to focus attention on a grave deficiency in administrative machinery that hampers full implementation of the CSS in the State and take corrective measures without further delay.