‘Major allocations in previous budget not utilised’

Only 39% of ₹450 crore allotted for women and child development spent, says K.M. Mani Centre

Large sums allotted in the previous budget, particularly for women and child development and disaster management, have remained unutilised, the K.M. Mani Centre for Budget Research has said in a statement.

Of the ₹450.4 crore allotted for women and child development last year, only 39.40% amounting to ₹177.59 crore was spent. This includes the amount set aside under gender budgeting, the statement added.

Similarly, of the ₹7.5 crore allotted for disaster management, only ₹3.06 crore was utilised, leaving 59.25% of the funds unutilised. “Last minute spending post-budget and before March 31 should be avoided and in future, all finance ministers should try to spend funds allotted evenly throughout the year,” the statement observed.

It acknowledged that the budget was a “mark of respect for K.M. Mani” with ₹5 crore being allotted for the construction of K.M. Mani Smarakam and the continuation of the Karunya Benevolent Fund scheme that the leader had introduced.

While welcoming the hike in welfare pensions, the research centre also called for the need to rework schemes for farmers considering a production loss of minus 5%, setting up e-toilets and a focus on dumping and processing of waste.

The centre also pointed out that the new finance commission had calculated a lower share for Kerala — as much as ₹7,800 crore or 0.6% less than what the previous commission had given the State as grant-in-aid, loans, and tax. “This shortage is going to affect the development of local bodies,” it observed.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:36:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/major-allocations-in-previous-budget-not-utilised/article30766860.ece

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