Only Rs. 1,464 crore spent against Rs. 4,218 crore available for schemes
The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department has been lethargic in implementing several flagship rural development programmes of the Union and State governments in the 2011-12 fiscal.
This became apparent after a presentation made by the RDPR Department officials during a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officers chaired by the Chief Minister on October 3.
The department has been implementing 10 major Central and State schemes for establishing basic social and economic infrastructure and for the uplift of the poor. But the department has made “poor utilisation of funds sanctioned for various schemes”. Of the available funds of Rs. 4,218 crore, it has spent Rs. 1,464 crore till August 11, 2011.
The officials said that Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Kolar and Mandya districts “are the districts that have shown poor performance” in the implementation of programmes of the Union and State governments.
Four districts spent less than 25 per cent of the funds allocated for implementation of programmes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the rural water supply, the Jal Nirmal, the Pradan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Suvarna Gramodaya, the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), the Total Sanitation Campaign and the Gram Swaraj.
Davangere, Chitradurga, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Haveri and Raichur districts have been considered “performing districts” for achieving 50 per cent progress in utilisation of funds.
The officials said that the major challenges faced by the department are vacancy of posts at various levels, non-completion of projects, frequent changes in action plans, poor capability for designing, monitoring and evaluating, and the delay in the approval of action plans by local bodies.
An allocation of Rs. 1,972 crore has been made for MGNREGS in 2011-12. Of this, Rs. 1,100 crore has been released for all rural local bodies and the expenditure incurred was Rs. 341 crore (31 per cent).
As much as 60 per cent of the amount needs to be utilised for claiming the second instalment (due in October, 2011).
Officials claimed that the poor expenditure, non-convergence, misappropriation of funds (189 criminal cases filed) and inconsistency in social audit reports are major concerns that prevent effective implementation of the job scheme.
Similarly, under various schemes (CMGSY, PMGSY, RIDF, CMRRF), Rs. 403 crore has been spent against the availability of Rs. 855 crore. For instance, under the Chief Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana, the department spent Rs. 17 crore of the available Rs. 80 crore till August.
Physical progress was also slow under rejuvenation and restoration of tanks programme in the assembly constituencies. A sum of Rs. 842 crore has been provided in the State budget. But only Gulbarga has reported an expenditure of Rs. 5 crore so far, said a booklet given to officials during the meeting.
For the effective implementation of the schemes, the department has proposed integration of information systems at the district and the taluk levels, establishment of project management units at the district and taluk levels for water supply schemes; and SMS-based public grievances cells at the district level.