Ignorance is often not bliss when it comes to a ticklish subject like transfer of funds from the Centre to the states for various schemes.
Mired in politics, both the sides slug it out about the quantum and timing due to either the excess of information or sheer paucity of it, depending on the case. A ready-reckoner prepared by a Karnataka official in this regard for his state every year has filled the gap despite change of governments in Bangalore.
So much so, the efforts of Bykere Nagesh have won praise from Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Union ministers, who want other states to follow suit.
His compilation of the funds sent to Karnataka for the implementation of Bharat Nirman and other Centrally sponsored schemes was released by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah recently.
Nagesh, who is Karnataka’s additional special representative and coordinator, says “No one is aware of the fact that the Centre has given nearly Rs 25,000 crore for Karnataka for 2012-13 for different heads. From 2004 to 2013, the amount runs to Rs 1.33 lakh crore”.
Explaining how this could improve accountability, he said it enables people, particularly MPs and MLAs to assess “the amount that would reach his or her district and accordingly pursue its proper spending.”
When Ahluwalia was handed a copy of the recknoner, he wanted its copies to be presented to chief ministers of other states as a model for similar ready reference for elected representatives to do follow-ups on implementation of the Centrally-funded schemes.
“Thousands of crores are transferred to the states but elected representatives remain unaware and are unable to follow-up,” said Nagesh.
Nagesh said the money goes to the states more than six schemes under Bharat Nirman and 13 flagship programmes.
“Once the MPs and MLAs are aware of what has been made available, it is then easy for them to pursue at their constituency and district level about implementation of various projects,” he says.
Under Bharat Nirman, Indira Awaas Yojana is a flagship scheme of the rural development ministry, under which funds are directly released by the Centre and the states to the district rural development agency for building houses. The funding is shared by the Centre and the states in the ratio of 45:55.
Similarly,there is the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, National Rural Drinkin Water Programme and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Yojna, in which the funding pattern between the Centre and the states varies between 25% to 90%.