The fate of several vital components of Rs 80000 cr worth Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) has been found mired in the cobweb of dilly dallying approach by no less an authority than a Parliamentary Panel . The Panel has made no bones about expressing their concern and displeasure over it.It has asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to work in tandem with the StateGovernment to ensure timely execution of the projects under the package. The Panel wants the Ministry to furnish the requisite information in respect of certain ongoing projects so that the benefits of the scheme reach the people in a time bound manner. The package announced with a lot of enthusiasm and covering various projects seems confirming to the proverbial great boast and small roast.
As per the report of Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by Congress leader P. Chidambaram, the StateGovernment was informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide the requisite details in respect of the eligible beneficiaries of financial assistance at the rate of Rs.5.5 lakh per family. Details asked for comprised furnishing the name and the Aadhaar linked bank account number of at least 9000 out of the total 36384 familiesfrom Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (1947) and Chhamb (1967 and 1971).
State Government, however, provided the information but that was not complete as verification of the records of 481 beneficiaries only was completed tillMarch 31, 2017. During automatic verification by banks through Public Finance Management System (PFMS) given bank accounts of only 175 beneficiaries were found to be linked with their given Aadhaar numbers. As such, only Rs.9.33 crore could be utilized for disbursing of Central assistance to these 175 beneficiaries during the fiscal 2016-17and remaining amount was surrendered. The former State Finance Minister, however, informed the Assembly last month that there was no timeline prescribed for spending but a number of steps had been taken to implement the projects under the package in a time bound manner.
The ground reality being iffy about the claims coupled with the findings of the Parliamentary Panel since against 29068 forms distributed to the beneficiaries, only 10723 were received duly filled in by the concerned authorities. Details of only 3500 beneficiaries were sent to the Nodal Officer after verification for uploading on the PFMS.The Nodal Officer could dispose of the cases of 605 beneficiaries till May ending last year.
The Parliamentary Panel has reiterated that MHA should persuade the State Government for providing authenticated details of beneficiaries to facilitate the timely and effective implementation of Rehabilitation Package to the tune of Rs.500 crore. Dilly dallying approach by the StateGovernmentin administrative matters,like the one under reference does not augur well since itseems roiling and vexing the process of implementation of the scheme. This contention is buttressed by another instance of the proposal of five IR battalions not raised so far despite the project having been sanctioned by the MHA on Feb10, 2016.One lakh applications have been received for recruitment for these battalions but still the same are under the “scrutiny” of the State Government.
Can the State Government show required gumption to implement the package nuances in time bound manner remains to be seen. However, after having received incisively critical comments from the Parliamentary Panel, it is now hoped that the StateGovernment works in tandem with the MHA to achieve the desired results.