Expedite physical verification of over 16,000 developmental works: Govt to officers

Complete formalities for projects before imposition of MCC

Increase capital expenditure to bridge infrastructure deficit
Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Sept 18: Taking serious note of low progress in physical verification of works, the Government has directed the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department to ensure completion of this exercise in respect of over 16000 works/projects expeditiously. Moreover, all the departments have been told to accord sanctions and complete important formalities by end of this month so that imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) doesn’t create any sort of hurdle in the developmental works.
During the review of physical and financial progress achieved under Capex Budget 2023-24 by the Principal Secretary to the Government, Finance Department, it came to the fore that progress achieved in respect of physical verification and inspection of works for the year 2022-23 was very low (5.75%) despite the fact that such an exercise is playing a crucial role in transparency of the execution.
Taking serious note of this, the Principal Secretary, Finance Department directed the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department to ensure that Regional Directors and District Statistical and Evaluation Officers expedite the physical verification of over 16,000 works and projects. “Physical verification/inspection of the works has to happen systematically and shall be evenly planned for the entire financial year”, read the direction issued by the Government.
Moreover, all the Administrative Departments have been directed to ensure that the Planning Officers create a comprehensive data base of all the works being executed in their respective departments so that no work is repeated and duplicity is avoided. They have further been asked to ensure that entire exercise is completed within one month.
Principal Secretary, Finance Department also noticed very slow progress of according Administrative Approval, tendering and allotment of works and accordingly directed all the departments to ensure that by the end of current month all ongoing projects are accorded Administrative Approval, 100% tenders are issued and allotment of works is executed,.
They have further been asked to be cognizance about the forthcoming elections and imposition of Model Code of Conduct and in this view all the sanctions and important formalities should be completed by the end of this month so that developmental works are executed smoothly.
Observing that Capital expenditure was lagging substantially, the Finance Secretary directed all the Planning Officers to ensure that the expenditure level is increased expeditiously to bridge infrastructure deficit. Of the four sources of Capex funding of projects in J&K viz Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), Loan and UT Share, the Centrally Sponsored Schemes are of highest importance as such the foremost task of all the officers is to get all the individual installments from respective Ministries, read the directive of the Finance Secretary.
He has further directed that maximum number of installments should be taken from Government of India under CSS/PMDP during this financial year and the departments which are availing NABARD loans should ensure that the loan projects are completed in time so that there is no scope for cost escalation.
Noticing that several departments implementing CSS/PMDP projects have unspent funds with them, he directed all the Administrative Departments to utilize funds expeditiously so that they are able to claim fresh installment of funds from the Government of India. They have also been asked to expedite submission of Utilization Certificates under CSS and PMDP to their respective Ministries in Government of India so that each department gets the next installment of funds by October 2023.
The Rural Development Department has been directed to upload the data of MGNREGA on the BEAMS enabling the Finance Department to release funds under the scheme. In respect of PMDP, the Finance Secretary said, “as more time extensions from Government of India are not possible, all the departments should expedite the physical/financial progress so that the schemes are completed in time and the burden on the Union Territory resources is not increased”.
It is pertinent to mention here that PMDP implementing departments have 13 ongoing projects. Out of which, 7 projects have been targeted to be completed during the current financial year and 6 projects during 2024-25 and beyond.