JAMMU, Dec 10: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had drastically reduced funding to Jammu and Kashmir under Board Area Development Programme due to delay in submission of Utilization Certificates (UCs) by the State Government.
An official document revealed that the funding to Jammu and Kashmir under the BADP, which was Rs 198.89 crore during the year 2017-18 has been reduced to Rs 69.79 crore in 2018-19 as the State Government didn’t submit Rs 47.74 crore worth US of the previous financial year.
The documents revealed that funding to Jammu and Kashmir was significant and was even increase when the UCs were not pending.
While the funding was Rs 107 crore during 2010-11, it went up to Rs 124.62 crore in 2011-12 and further jumped to Rs 133.94 crore in 2012-13 and Rs 158 crore in 2013-14. During all these years, there were no UCs pending.
Total UCs worth Rs 83.64 crore were pending for the last three financial years including Rs 47.74 crore for 2017-18, Rs 33.18 crore for 2016-17 and Rs 2.72 crore for 2015-16, the document revealed.
“It was disgusting that the funds, which could have been used for development of the border areas, were stalled by the Ministry of Home Affairs, due to delay in submission of UCs by the State Government,” sources said, adding that timely release of the funds would have resulted into more funds under the BADP, which would have led to more development of the border areas.
During the period 2010-11 to 2018-19, the MHA has provided Rs 1227.94 crores under BAPD to the Jammu and Kashmir Government for welfare of the border residents.
As per the guidelines of this BADP scheme, funds are released to the States in two instalments and the funding for the subsequent year is based on the confirmation of expenditure and receipt of approved list of schemes and the 1st instalment of 90 percent of allocation of the State is released only after submission of Utilization Certificates for the amount released in the previous years except the preceding year.
In the BAPD scheme, it has been specifically mentioned that if there is any shortfall in furnishing the UCs for the amount released during the previous years, except for the same year, the same amount is deducted at the time of release of the first instalment.
Though being aware of all these straight and transparent guidelines to avail funds under the BAPD, the concerned officers of the State Government failed to submit expenditure details well in time and this was the reason that during last seven financial years, right form 2010-11 to 2017-18 on several occasion, the MHA has curtailed the funds in comparison to the funds sought by the State Government.
In the year 2014-15, the State Government had made a demand of Rs 128 crore whereas only Rs 115.20 crores were released, similarly in 2015-16 there was shortfall of Rs 8.68 crores between released and demanded amount, the asked amount was Rs 138.79 crore and released amount stood at Rs. 130.11 Cr.
The financial year 2017-18 witnessed the maximum curtailment of over 19 percent funds as the demanded amount by the State Government was Rs. 247.65 crores and the released amount was just 198.89 crores, which indicated a clear shortfall of Rs. 47.74 crores.
During the current financial year 2018-19 also, there is a gap between the amount demanded by the State Government and released by the MHA. Though yet one full quarter of the financial year is left this year, the amount sought is Rs 93.33 crores and the released amount as on date is Rs 69.79 crores
The MHA has released the document pertaining to details of the BADP amount to RTI activist Raman Sharma.