Srinagar: With the poor implementation of Rural Development schemes and delay in holding Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections in the state, more than 1500 crore funds are likely to get lapsed in the current fiscal.
Sources in the government said that Government of India has communicated the state government that more than 15,000 crore funds would be lapsed in the current fiscal due to poor utilization of fund meant of RDD schemes and non-holding of Panchayat polls.
The Rural development ministry has received the communication,” an official of the Rural Development Department said and added that these funds are part of various centrally sponsored schemes and would not be utilized without holding Panchayat polls.
The official said that New Delhi has been pressurizing the JK Government to hold the Panchayat polls to evade lapsing of further funds. “But this is not possible to hold the Panchayat polls in the next few months at least,” the official said, quoting JK Government having told the centre. “Panchayat polls may be held in March, April next year if situation remains conducive,” the official said.
The Panchayats completed their term in July last year. Elections to panchayats were last held in April-May 2011 during Omar Abdullah led National Conference-Congress regime after a gap of 37 years. The government postponed these polls for several times in the last two years.
For the last two years, the Union Ministry of Rural Development Department has taken on the state government several times over poor implementation of funds.
In one of the letters in June this year, the Union Ministry has mentioned that the numbers of works started in MGNREGA in 2015-2016 in JK are still “incomplete”. It also mentioned delay in payment of wages to labourers.
In another official communiqué, the union ministry has mentioned that against the target of 445 AWC’s, only eight centres have been constructed completely during the FY 2016-17 in J&K.
Jammu and Kashmir has also performed poorly in implementing the Prime Minister’s sanitation scheme for rural areas in the last three years in the state.
The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has found J&K one among the worst performing states in India in implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission for rural in the last three years.
As per the figures of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, J&K’s cumulative performance under individual household latrine (IHHL) in rural areas was 23.01 and 27.31 percent during 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively.
During 2016-2017, the J&K cumulative performance was around 33 percent, ahead of only one state and union territory, Bihar and Daman and Diu.
“These funds of various centrally sponsored schemes have remained unutilized,” the official said.
(With inputs from KNS)