AJKPC expresses concern over non- utilization of funds under CAPEX

AJKPC president, Anil Sharma talking to media persons in Jammu on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
AJKPC president, Anil Sharma talking to media persons in Jammu on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 29: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference today expressed serious concern and apprehension over lapse of approximately 70 percent funds under Capex during the current financial year 2021-22 which were exclusively earmarked for the elected Panchayati Raj Institutions including Panchayats, Block Development Council and District Development Councils of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a one day convention of AJKPC presided by its president, Anil Sharma and attended by senior members from Kashmir and Jammu division, all the members expressed serious concern over the lapse of funds worth hundreds crores of rupees under Capex budget.
Sharma informed that during the current financial year 2021-22 an amount of Rs 23 lakh was earmarked for each Panchayat and there are over 4200 Panchayat across Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and as on date only 18 to 22 percent funds out of Capex budget have been utilized and rest of the money is pending with the concerned department.
He said prior to the year 2019 that before removal of article 370 of the Constitution of India from J&K, there was provision of roll over of these funds but presently under the guidelines of Ministry of Finance, these funds lapse if not utilized during the financial year in which they are earmarked and sanctioned for. He said it would be a setback not only for the Panchayti Raj Institutions but also impact overall economy of the J&K and hamper many ongoing developmental projects and activities.
The AJKPC president alleged that it is utter negligence of the bureaucracy who laid stress on e-tendering but could not issue tenders on time nor the tendering process completed and ultimately the delay caused such a huge loss to J&K people.
The other important issues that were discussed in the AJKPC convention and final resolution include non- release of last installments(due in year 2019) of 14th Financial Commission for which several projects were submitted by Gram Sabhas and now in absence of the funds, the elected Panches, Sarpanches are under severe criticism from villagers who spare their precious time to attend Gram Sabhas only after request and personal invitations of Panches and Sarpanches.
AJKPC has made an urgent appeal to the Jammu and Kashmir Finance department, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Finance Ministry to consider one time relaxation of these funds and also demanded release of 1st installment of 15th Financial Commission.