Hurt by the budget cut in the 2016 fiscal due to “below average” performance of UT administration officials in the last financial year, UT adviser Vijay Dev has instructed them spend funds judiciously and complete the projects in a time-bound manner.
“The department heads will be held responsible when it comes to the non-utilisation of funds. The budget spending, both in terms of quantity and quality, will be reviewed of all departments which will be reflected in the annual confidential report (ACR) of officials, including the department heads,” said the adviser.
The performance assessment of officials will be done on the basis of completion of works in their respective departments, he said adding that a detailed plan would be chalked out for undertaking projects under different departments.
The development is significant as the UT administration has suffered a major setback with a cut of Rs 160 crore in the budget for the 2016-17 financial year due to its inability to utilise the last fiscal’s budget. The plan head, which is used for development works, had seen a decline.
In 2015- 16, the allocated budget under the plan head was Rs 860 crore against Rs 700 crore this year. The UT administration had sought a budget of Rs 2,834 crore from the Centre, but got only Rs 700 crore as against Rs 634 crore revised estimates last year.
Due to the budget cut, several development projects may take a hit in the city. The administration was planning to come with hospitals, schools, water supply augmentation and housing projects. The authorities were also planning to purchase around 100 new buses. Some of the key projects to be undertaken this year are construction of a new block of the medical college, expansion of the high court, houses for cops and construction of the new secretariat building.
Last year also, the adviser had pulled up the officials following the budget cut by the Centre and had directed the department heads to ensure timely completion of projects or face action. The UT administration had faced a cut of over Rs 225 crore owing to its poor performance. The administration had failed to get timely execution of projects and check the expenditure involved in various projects. The adviser, while holding the review meeting, had showed concern on the low expenditure on the part of UT engineering department and the slow pace which had resulted into the huge cut.
The adviser has also decided to issue detailed instructions to officials of different department as per which deadlines would be fixed and officials would have to complete the projects in a stipulated period. The instructions are being issued so this year the projects are completed well within time and the budget sanctioned by the Centre is utilised properly. The administration in September this year will also try to seek more funds in the revised estimates.