Govt advances release of BADP funds this year, places Rs 54 crore at DDCs’ disposal

Photographic evidence of pre, post execution stages to be obtained
More funds to be given shortly to clear past liabilities
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Sept 12: Putting an end to the long practice of releasing funds for the development of border areas at the fag end of the year, the Governor’s Administration has advanced release of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) funds this year and placed an amount of over Rs 54 crore at the disposal of District Development Commissioners (DDCs) for prompt start of identified works.
Moreover, they have been conveyed that sufficient funds would be released within next few days to clear the liabilities wherever created in the past.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that State Government is supposed to submit Annual Action Plan under Border Area Development Programme latest by May every year so as to pave the way for timely release of funds by the Border Management Division of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, this timeline was not being strictly adhered to by all the concerned authorities during the past several years and it was due to slackness in timely preparation and submission of Annual Plan that even last year first instalment of BADP funds was received from the Ministry of Home Affairs in the month of December 2017 and the second instalment in the last week of March 2018.
This practice has now been put to an end by the Government as a result of which Annual Action Plan for 2018-19 financial year was cleared by MHA few days back and even first instalment of Rs 54.37 crore has been released to the District Development Commissioners of 11 districts and heads of two administrative departments three months advance in comparison to previous financial year.
Of Rs 54.37 crore, Rs 48.93 crore is Central Share while as Rs 5.43 crore is the State Share. Jammu has received Rs 7.33 crore, Samba Rs 3.28 crore, Kathua Rs 2.84 crore, Rajouri Rs 4.54 crore, Poonch Rs 3.42 crore, Baramulla Rs 7.22 crore, Bandipora Rs 2.04 crore, Kupwara Rs 6.34 crore, Leh Rs 7.46 crore and Kargil Rs 2.96 crore.
However, as per the sources, the first instalment of BADP funds this year is short of about Rs 20 crore as compared to first instalment of last financial year when an amount of Rs 70.40 crore was placed at the disposal of DDCs of 11 districts.
While asking DDCs of these 11 districts to immediately start works identified under current year’s Action Plan, the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department has explicitly conveyed that a certificate must be issued mentioning that the works being taken-up for execution qualify for inclusion under BADP as per the guidelines of the scheme.
“The expenditure against the approved works should be restricted to amount release without increasing the scope of the work and savings if any shall not be utilized without the approval of the competent authority”, read the order issued by the Principal Secretary to Government, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal.
It has also been mentioned in the order that no work other than the approved one shall be taken up for execution and no past liability whatsoever shall be cleared against the released amount. “Government will shortly release sufficient funds to clear all the past liabilities”, sources said.
The DDCs have also been asked to provide photographic evidence indicating the pre-execution and post execution status for verification and monitoring purpose. “While executing schemes/works, Administrative Secretaries and DDCs concerned shall ensure that there is no overlapping/duplication of the schemes/works with any other programme”, the order said.
“The schemes where subsidy element is involved shall not be taken up as per the instructions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs even if funds are available in this regard”, the Principal Secretary Planning said, adding “the funds released as first instalment shall not be re-appropriated at any level without prior approval of the Planning Department”.
When contacted, Director General, BADP in the Planning Department Tariq Ahmad said, “the early release of funds this year has provided an opportunity to the District Development Commissioners to ensure prompt start and completion of works”.
More funds particularly to clear liabilities will be released in the coming days, he further said while disclosing that strict instructions have been issued by the Chief Secretary for preparation and submission of Annual Action Plan well within the prescribed time-frame in future also.