In a report to be tabled in Parliament in the “next few days”, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has come down heavily on the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), a scheme launched by the government in the Eleventh Plan against a backdrop of faltering agriculture growth.
“The audit has revealed a propensity to spend, a rush to commit expenditures without caring for due diligence which has resulted in gross underperformance of the scheme,” sources familiar with the report told HT.
Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 32,460 crore for a five-year period (2007-08 to 2012-13) was allocated to the 28 states and seven Union Territories as 100% grant by the central government.
RKVY was designed to provide complete flexibility and autonomy to the states to choose projects through grassroots planning, specifically tailored to their conditions for generating growth and development in agriculture and allied sectors. It had a built-in incentive mechanism to encourage states to allocate more on agriculture and allied sectors.
Accordingly, states had sought funds for 5,768 projects spanning across crops, horticulture, organic farming, farm mechanisation, micro irrigation, watershed development, marketing, storage and dairy development among others.
“The audit of RKVY brings out the failure of the planning process starting from the block and district levels and the approval of the projects by the Centre without factoring in the diverse agro-climatic and soil conditions in the country,” sources said.
“The flexibility in utilisation of funds under the RKVY scheme also allowed diversion of funds so much so that instances of ‘melas’ being organised spending huge funds for campaigning purpose has come to light. There were also audit of issues like relating to purchase of crop seeds under limited tender at very high rates,” they added.
Last year, a parliamentary committee had also flagged monitoring of the RKVY as an area of concern. “At the central level, there is hardly any monitoring except taking stock of the progress and receiving utilisation certificate at the time of release of second instalment of allocation.”