Districts set to get additional funds in DDB review meetings

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 17: The Government planned to hold a detailed review of district development works in the District Development Board (DDB) meetings by the end of next month when the schedule of plan and budget meetings was over. The DDB meetings were held in June and July this year for allocation of district plan and identification of development works for current financial year of 2013-14.
The additional plan allocations to the districts, wherever required, would also be released during the DDB review meetings.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Planning and Development Department has decided to hold the DDB review meetings after the district administration was free from the meetings being conducted by Planning and Finance Departments. Though these meetings would be over during the current month, the Departments would be busy in some more follow up meetings for plan and budgetary exercises in first half of December.
The schedule of DDB review meetings would be devised for second half of December or early January, they said.
The Planning and Development Department planned to release additional amount apart from the district annual plan in favour of some districts to complete or give pace to ongoing development works. Jammu and Srinagar districts, which hosted twin capital cities of the State, could get additional funds along with other districts, sources said.
They added that the Planning Department wanted to wrap up the DDB review meetings well before the announcement of general elections, which would lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct in the State prohibiting the Government to make fresh announcements in any of the official or private meetings.
“We want to wrap up the DDB review meetings before the imposition of Model Code of Conduct as additional amount had to be released in favour of some districts. However, it wouldn’t be possible to release the amount once the general elections, which were due in April-May next year, were announced,” sources said.
The Centre had not increased plan amount of the districts for current financial year of 2013-14 and allocated same amount to it like the previous two financial years as annual plan of the State was not increased this year.
The Planning Commission had allocated Rs 7300 crores worth plan to the State for 2013-14 as against Rs 8000 crores sought by the State, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. However, the State had to settle for Rs 7300 crores only as the Planning Commission wanted to reduce the grant to Rs 5800 crores.
In 2012-13 also, though the State had been sanctioned Rs 7300 crores worth annual plan, the Planning Department had at the late stage imposed a cut of Rs 1500 crores, leading the State high and dry at Rs 5800 crores worth plan only.
“This time, the flow of funds from the Centre has been normal and we are expecting full release of plan,” sources said, adding the DDB review meetings would discuss details of the projects, which have been undertaken during current financial year and which were going on for past some time. A number of works were likely to be completed during current financial year, which happened to be election year for Lok Sabha and Assembly
Sources expressed confidence that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would chair the DDB review meetings to acquaint himself with the progress of development works across the State.


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