State taking its time to release funds under JNNURM

For a municipal corporation with an annual estimated budget of Rs.1,886.83 crore for the next year, paying bills of Rs.35 crore towards works done in general category should not be a problem as the financial year comes to close. But it is.

From August to February as much as Rs.35 crore is due to contractors in the form of bills. In the next two days, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation plans to pay them Rs.13 crore for August and September. Bills for five months are still to be paid. This is said to be the reason behind contractors' wariness to take up any new works even if the corporation revises rates upward.

The financial condition of the municipal corporation that had borrowed heavily to pay its share of 30 per cent for the projects taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) had come up repeatedly at the last general body meeting.

Even under the JNNURM funds that are due from Central and State governments are getting delayed in the process of release from the State government that has to include its matching grant to the Central government's share.

An amount of Rs.120 crore is expected to be released this week towards the third instalment for the projects executed. Another Rs.106 crore is pending towards the fourth instalment. Even after the Central government releases the funds, the State government is taking its time to release. “This is due to the tight financial condition the State finds itself in,” say sources.

For instance, the State government itself had to release Rs.119 crore for the housing taken up by the corporation towards urban Indiramma houses and for the difference in the higher cost of housing under JNNURM.

Big relief

If these amounts are released, it will be a big relief for the corporation to expedite works on the BRTS and water projects mainly.

  • Corporation plans to pay Rs.13 crore to contractors for August and September

  • ‘State has to release Rs, 119 cr. for housing taken up under Indiramma'