Welcome early release of funds
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s decision to approve release of 50 percent of revenue and capital outlay on the very first day of new financial year is undoubtedly a historic decision that would change the developmental landscape of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Parliament recently approved the budget for the Union Territory — of the order of Rs.1,08,621 crore consisting of capital outlay of Rs.39817 crore and revenue component of Rs.68804 crore and the timely release of revenue and capital component is expected to accelerate pace of development in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has issued strict directions for timely completion of tendering process before end of May to ensure that there are no constraints due to limited working season in J&K. The flow of funds to the subordinate offices will be in online mode through BEAMS and all departments shall be required to submit monthly reports regarding the progress made by them under various components, the spokesperson said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Kashmir Valley and winter zones of Jammu division, the working season is limited due to weather vagaries. In these zones the developmental works come to a halt by the end of November and are resumed only in the month of March, the last month of the financial year. The timely release of the funds will help the execution of developmental works during the limited work season. In order to ensure uniform pace of expenditure, the government has clearly stipulated that not more than 30 percent of the funds can be spent in the last quarter of the financial year and not more than 15 percent of the funds can be spent during the last month of March. This step would definitely give a boost to the process of development. Earlier, when funds were released very late, the developmental works would remain unfinished and the concerned departments would try to spend as much money as possible in the month of March. In several cases, the funds would lapse thus impacting the pace of development.
The government’s decision to have the Panchayat Level Plans, Block Development Plans and District Development Plans ready in the month of May too will go a long way in developmental process of the Union Territory. This will be for the first time in the history of J&K that Panchayats shall be fully involved in the formulation of plans. The government has also planned suitable training of district officials to enable them to prepare the plans in a time-bound manner in accordance with the felt needs of people. Hopefully the different wings of the administration gear up and ensure that the timely release of funds is efficiently utilized for the benefit of the populace. Jammu and Kashmir has suffered a lot on developmental front and now is the time that these sufferings end and the people see a new dawn of progress and prosperity. Lt Governor has taken a big decision that would usher in a new era of development but the need is that concerned agencies are made accountable and timely completion of projects is made mandatory.