Govt issues guidelines for utilization of Distt Capex Budget

‘Ensure functioning of DDCs in accordance with 73rd Amendment’

DDCs asked to conduct social audit of all schemes

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, June 13: With all the District Development Councils (DDCs) submitting District Development Plans for the current financial year, the Government has issued detailed guidelines for utilization of District Capex Budget and for ensuring balanced and equitable development of the rural and urban areas.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that all the District Development Councils have submitted the District Development Plans to the Finance Department for accord of approval within the already fixed ceilings.
“All these Plans are currently under examination in the Finance Department and shortly the necessary procedural formalities will be completed so as to pave the way for early tendering of approved projects and completion of proposed works in a time bound manner”, they said.
A detailed discussion on all the aspects relating to implementation of District Development Plans was held in the recent meeting of the Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, they further said, adding in the meeting it was decided to issue detailed guidelines for effective utilization of District Capex Budget in all the districts of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the guidelines issued as per the decision taken in the Committee of Secretaries meeting, the Finance Department has directed all the District Development Commissioners to ensure that District Development Councils hold at least one meeting in a quarter and not less than four meetings in a year.
As per the document, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the DDCs have been explicitly told to ensure compliance with General Financial Rules (GFR) besides pre-requisites such as accord of Administrative Approval, Technical Sanction, e-tendering and compliance with Manual of Procurement for Goods and Services.
“The functions of the District Development Councils will be in accordance with 73rd Amendment, 11th Schedule of the Constitution of India read with relevant orders issued by the UT Government from time to time”, the Finance Department said. The DDCs have also been told to review mobilization of funds under all Centrally Sponsored Schemes which are part of District Development Plan.
They have also been asked to provide necessary assistance to the implementing agencies for timely identification, execution and completion of works and optimal use of resources to ensure tangible and measurable outcomes.
“Where any of the Panchayati Raj Institution is not able to formulate/finalize the work plan within time-frame, the plan of the others may be submitted so that works for the same may be started”, the Finance Department has conveyed to the District Development Commissioners.
In order to provide efficient services to the people in the districts, the Government has directed for resource mobilization at district, block and panchayat level and augmentation of their own revenue resources by the Panchayati Raj Institutions. Further, for ensuring complete transparency, the Government has directed the DDCs to take steps for social audit of the schemes under implementation in their respective districts.
“The DDCs should leave no stone unturned to review asset utilization in order to ensure optimum use of created assets”, the guidelines said, adding “all necessary assistance should be provided to eligible youth of the districts for self-employment and all out efforts should be made to ensure balanced and equitable development of rural and urban areas of the districts”.
While pointing towards the circular dated April 26, 2021, the Finance Department has told the DDCs that where there are past liabilities which are otherwise bonafide the same can be included in the Plans appropriately.
These liabilities can be processed by following the guidelines which include obtaining of administrative approval and technical sanction. Moreover, it is to be seen that tenders have been invited, work orders issued, works completed within the schedule, physical verification has been conducted and photographs with GPS coordinates are furnished.
These liabilities had accrued due to non-adherence to codal formalities by the implementing agencies.