Incapable of utilizing PMDP funds

In 2015, Prime Minister announced hefty sum of rupees 80,000 crore as developmental package for Jammu and Kashmir. As financial wizards sat down to work out the nitty-gritty of the package, they computed the estimates to Rs 82452.66 crore for which sanction was given.  This huge amount is distributed over various areas of expenditure, major and minor projects, multiple welfare schemes, social and cultural expansion, health, education, transport, road connectivity and dozens of other areas so as to cater to the all-round needs of the State. Thereis hardly any walk of life that is left outside the reach of this huge developmental package known as Prime Minister’s Developmental Package. There could be a lot of figure work about amounts sanctioned / released under each head which we would eschew and come straight to the point. According to a conservative estimate not even 50 per cent of the released amount has been utilized by the State Government. Two years have gone by and not even half of the released funds have been utilized in several high priority sectors. When will all the funds be utilized is a question nobody has an answer. Avoiding individual details about amount released and amount utilized for each project, a task that entails careful figure work, we would confine ourselves to an insight into the general and overall position of amounts sanctioned/released and utilized. As per the figures of the Planning and Development Department, actual approved cost of the package was Rs 80068 crore but later it was revised at Rs 82452.66 crore. Of this, funds to the tune of Rs 27235.09 crore have been sanctioned out of which Rs 14910.63 crore released till date for both State and Central Sector Projects. However, the expenditure as on date is to the tune of Rs 11917.04 crore. According to the figures provided by the Chief Minister, who is also Minister In-charge Planning and Development Department in response to the question of National Conference MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar in the Legislative Assembly, an amount of Rs 77.50 crore has been released for development of tourism in the State but the Tourism Department has registered expenditure of only Rs 31.46 crore so far.
The slackness in execution of the projects is notwithstanding the fact that an amount of Rs 387.51 crore has already been sanctioned and can be easily released provided the department submits the Utilization Certificates of the already released amount. What to talk of obtaining more funds under the sanctioned amount even entire released amount has not been utilized.  This is just one example out of a dozen or more of them. The simple point is that there is inefficiency and incompetence at various levels of administration in our State and the functionaries are finding on one or the other pretext for not being able to deliver the goods. This is the sordid state of affairs in our State. This is also the reason why we have been repeatedly saying that the Government should constitute an assessment and advisory committee which will examine the reasons for departments in not completing the projects in time and not submitting Utilization Certificates.