IRMA report points out ‘critical gaps’ in implementation of NRLM in J&K
Srinagar: An independent assessment report submitted by the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) to the Union Ministry of Rural Development has pointed out “critical gaps” in implementation of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in Jammu & Kashmir.
The report was submitted to the Ministry last year.
According to the report, NRLM had only skeleton staff at all levels to drive the mission agenda. “Delays in sanction of positions, long delays in recruitment, court cases, and shortage of finances appear to be the reasons behind the critical shortage of Human Resource. The shortage of professional staff has also enhanced the dependence of the Mission on community resource persons whose numbers have proliferated over the years,” reads the report, a copy of which lies in possession of Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
The report also reveals that financial constraints were affecting critical activities of the Mission. “The pace and progress of the State Mission were adversely affected by the irregular, and uncertain flow of funds, particularly after the Government of India discontinued the practice of extending central assistance (90%) directly to the SRLM (special purpose vehicle). The State treasury which receives the central assistance now has not been releasing the funds along with State share to the SRLM well in time. There were post-sanction delays ranging from 2 to 9 months, virtually starving the Mission of funds. The belated releases very often resulted in either rush of expenditure or lower expenditure (larger balances) affecting further releases,” the report reads.
According to the report, the irregular release of funds to the State Mission seems to be indirectly affecting the overall functioning of the programme which doesn’t allow the State Mission officials to submit the necessary utilisation on time. “This happens because they get inadequate time to utilise the funds. On the other hand, it is difficult for them to even maintain the necessary quarterly balance as the next instalments are held back! This vicious cycle needs to be broken, and gaps shall be filled to allow the smooth and timely release of fund,” it reads.
The National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), a centrally sponsored programme of the Ministry, has been implemented in of Jammu & Kashmir from financial year 2012-13. Based on the unique requirements of the State, the Government of India granted a special financial package of Rs 755 crore under the scheme. (KNO)