More than half the budget for development work for 2010-2011 is lying unused in state coffers. Interestingly, it is not unwillingness to spend but red tape that is to blame.
With less than a month to go for the new state budget to be announced, an estimated Rs 29,324 crore of the total planned budget of Rs 46,375 crore remains unused. A planned budget refers to funds only for development schemes and not for establishment costs like salaries.
In 2010-11, the urban development department used only Rs 762 crore of the Rs 3,194 crore meant for improving cities. The housing department spent just Rs 139 crore of the allocated Rs 1,719 crore. The public works department responsible for building and maintaining roads spent Rs 1,225 crore of its Rs 2,945-crore budget. “In most cases, funds get released too late and there is too much centralised control by the finance department,’’ said a senior bureaucrat, requesting anonymity.
Rajendra Mulak, minister of state for finance, said, “I agree our spending capability is not up to the mark. We plan to streamline the budgetary process.”
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who heads the finance department, was unavailable for comment.