Grama panchayats fail to achieve fund use targets

The fate of various development projects announced by grama panchayats in the district is hanging in the balance as just one month is remaining to execute the works and spend the amount set aside for the projects in the present financial year.

As per the latest statistics submitted to the Directorate of Panchayats, only 45 per cent of the total project fund was so far utilised by the panchayats in Kozhikode district.

The poor expenditure of plan fund is likely to hit many of the already announced renovation or construction works of village roads, development of primary health centres, construction of houses for the homeless, drinking water supply projects, and many other pilot projects envisaged for the year. Of the 72 grama panchayats in the district, more than 40 have not even crossed 45 per cent of the total disbursal of plan fund expected.

The complaint that many of the panchayat heads already passed to the Director of Panchayats is that the project approval process of the District Planning Committee (DPC) in 2012-13 was at a snail’s pace and none of the local bodies got approval on time. The situation was far better in the 2011-12 financial year though the panchayats could not achieve a cent per cent result in plan fund expenditure, they observed.

Some of the panchayat heads complained that their projects were given approval only during the last week of December 2012. They said the panchayats had submitted the detailed projects on time for fast clearance, but the zeal shown by the local bodies was not at all visible in the attitude of the DPC.

Though the DPC had been asked by the State government to clear all the projects in 20 days, the presidents of the local bodies said the rule that came into effect very recently did not come to the benefit of many panchayats.

  • Only 45 per cent of total fund utilised so far

  • Slow pace of project approval process blamed