Special Plan Assistance in doldrums

Not surprising that our top administrators and bureaucrats have miserably failed to deliver within time on submission of duly completed form to the Union Planning Commission to make the State eligible for receiving an amount of Rs. Rs 2064 crore Special Plan Assistance (SPA). The SPA envisages utilization of funds for building essential infrastructure like bridges, roads, buildings and other structures. The State Government was supposed to submit Action Plan within the prescribed format. Consequently, instructions were issued to the Deputy Commissioners, Directors and other senior officials to fill up the forms and submit these within time. In September another reminder was issued. What the Government did was to release 50 % of the SPA allocations from its own funds in the hope that after the documentation was completed entire funds would be released by the Planning Commission. But now the Planning Commission has said that if the documentation is not completed within time, no funds on account of SPA would be released.
It is unbelievable that lethargy and negligence have crept into our administrative machinery to the extent that even the importance of major infrastructural project needed for overall development is not realised. Should not Services Act and other punitive measures be activated in the case of  defaulters whose negligence threatens a loss of more than two and a half thousand crore  rupees to the State. How can our backward State develop if such inexcusable lapses are committed? The Chief Minister and other ministers have to rush to New Delhi asking funds for various projects. By and large the Central Government has been very frugal to the State of J&K on account of its topography, hilly contours and in particular 25 years of continued militancy and disruption of normal life. But the frugality of the Central Government agencies proves futile if the funds are not properly utilised or not utilised in proper time and allowed to get lapsed. The Government must treat this malaise with all seriousness and no chance has to be given to the donor agency to express its unhappiness over our Government’s shabby performance.

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