Waking up to the gross underutilisation of central funds intended to improve infrastructure, health and education services, the state government has decided to set up a committee to monitor such schemes and ensure its utilisation.
On April 26, the state’s planning department issued a government resolution to set up a 13-member committee, which includes a representative from the Centre, to ensure that these schemes are expedited.
The decision to set up a committee has come as an intervention on the part of the Centre to check delays and cost overruns in these projects. The resolution states, “It has been observed that more than 50 % of the central sector projects experience time delay beyond their scheduled date of completion…ministry of statistics and programme implementation, Government of India has expressed concern over this issue.”
The Central Sector Project Coordination Committee (CSPCC) includes secretaries of urban development, finance, planning, energy, industry, water resources departments and has been mandated to meet once every quarter. The committee aims to avoid time and cost overrun in the implementation of the Central Sector Projects.
In the past, the opposition as well as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its reports, have slammed the state for failing to utilise these funds to create physical and social infrastructure. For instance, CAG in its 2008-09 report noted that the state had underutilised the National Rural Health Mission funds to the tune of 28 % to 73 %. In addition, the state also failed to contribute its own share of Rs115 crore towards these schemes. This year, the state government has received nearly Rs12,000 crore from the Centre for around 400 such schemes. Senior officials said that the committee was set up to ensure that these funds came to the state and were utilised effectively.