Union Govt directs J&K to refund unspent balance of Rs 17.38 crore

*Makes it pre-condition for release of funds under NLRMP

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, June 5: In an embarrassing situation for the State Government, the Union Government has directed the Revenue Department of Jammu and Kashmir to refund the unspent balance of Rs 17.38 crore lying under two different schemes and made it a pre-condition for the release of funds under the new scheme—National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP).
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Department of Land Resources of the Union Ministry of Rural Development in a communication addressed to the Revenue Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir has mentioned that Finance Division of the Department has thoroughly discussed the issue of unspent balance lying under the erstwhile scheme of Computerization of Land Records (CLR) and Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA & ULR) and has decided that the unspent balance lying with Jammu and Kashmir may be refunded to the Government of India.
“The Union Ministry has directed the Revenue Department of J&K to refund the amount through Demand Draft drawn in favour of Pay and Accounts Officer, Department of Land Resources as early as possible”, sources informed, adding “the Ministry has also conveyed to the J&K Government that refund of unspent balance is a pre-condition imposed by the Finance Division of the Department for release of funds under the new scheme—NLRMP”.
According to the data of the Union Ministry, under the Centrally sponsored scheme of Computerization of Land Records, an amount of Rs 1820 lakh was released to J&K since the inception of this scheme. However, J&K could utilize only Rs 286 lakh and an amount of Rs 1542 lakh is lying as unspent balance.
Similarly, under the Centrally sponsored scheme of Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records, an amount of Rs 1509 lakh was released to J&K since the inception of this scheme. Against this amount, J&K utilized Rs 1312 lakh and an amount of Rs 196.12 lakh is lying as unspent balance.
In response to a question, sources said, “under these schemes the Revenue Department purchased large number of computers but the same could not be utilized for the intended purpose because of varied reasons including the registration of case by the State Vigilance Organization”.
“Following registration of case, no body dared to proceed ahead with the implementation of these schemes despite being aware of the fact that these were of immense importance for making revenue record error proof across the State”, they further said.
When asked about the response of the Revenue Department to the communication of the Union Ministry, sources said, “the department is planning to write to the Department of Land Resources within next some days with the request to revalidate the funds and allow utilization of the same through a registered society namely Jammu and Kashmir Land Records Management Authority”.
This society was constituted last year with Chief Secretary as its Chairman and Financial Commissioner Revenue as Chief Executive Officer and the objective of this society is to implement the National Land Records Modernization Programme, sources said.
Responding to another question, they said, “if the Union Ministry refuses to consider the request of the Revenue Department then unspent balance would have to be refunded at any cost”, adding “although society has been framed to implement the NLRMP, there is no significant progress in achieving the objective of the scheme till date”.
It is worthwhile to mention here that NLRMP is an integrated programme aimed at modernizing management of land records, minimize the scope of land/property disputes and enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system.
The major components of the programme are computerization of all land records including mutations, digitization of maps and integration of textual and spatial data, survey/resurvey and updation of all survey and settlement records including creation of original cadastral records wherever necessary, computerization of registration and its integration with the land records maintenance system, development of core Geospatial Information System (GIS) and capacity building.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here