J&K fails to submit utilisation certificates; MHA cuts funding under BADP 

TSL News Network

JAMMU, Jan 25: Call it callousness of the concerned officers of the Jammu and Kashmir government or the misfortune of the people living in borders areas of the state but the fact is that these people who brave the bullets are always deprived of their legitimate rights.

In a shocking revelation made under RTI Act it has come to fore that J & K government has failed to submit utilization certificates under Border Area Development Program, BAPD amounting rupees 83.64 Crores to the union ministry of home  affairs that has compelled the union government to curtail the subsequent funding under BAPD.

The information received under RTI Act by Raman Sharma a resident of Jammu from Border Management Department of Union Home Ministry and BAPD Cell of Planning Development and Monitoring Department of Jammu and Kashmir government, it’s been exposed that utilization certificates worth Rs 83.64 are awaited since financial year 2015-16.

In his application under RTI, Sharma had sought year wise details regarding funds demanded by the J & K government under BAPD from union home ministry since FY 2010-11 and the funds released by MHA. During the period 2010-11 to 2018-19 government of India has provided Rs 1227.94 crores under BAPD to the state government of Jammu and Kashmir for welfare of border residents.

Unfortunately, failure of the Babus in submitting utilizations certificates well in time has deprived the state government in getting its due share because as per the guidelines of this BAPD scheme, funds are released to the states in two instalments and the funding for the subsequent year is based on the confirmation of expenditure and receipt of approved list of schemes and the 1st instalment of 90 percent of the allocation of the state is released only after submission of Utilization Certificates for the amount released in the previous years except the preceding year.

In the BAPD scheme is it specifically mentioned that if there is any shortfall in furnishing the UCs for the amount released during the previous years, except for the same year, the same amount is deducted in the time of release of the 1st instalment.  Unfortunately even being aware of all these straight and transparent  guidelines to avail funds under the BAPD, the concerned officers of the state government failed to submit expenditure details well in time and this is the reason that during the last 7 financial years, right form 2010-11 to 2017-18 on several occasion, the MHA has curtailed the funds in comparison what is asked by the state government.

In year 2014-15, the state government had made a demand of rupees 128 crore whereas only Rs 115.20 crores were released, similarly in 2015-16 there was shortfall of Rs 8.68 crores between  released and demanded amount, the asked amount was Rs 138.79 crore and released amount stood at Rs. 130.11 Cr. The financial year 2017-18 witnessed the maximum curtailment of over 19 percent funds as the demanded amount by the state government of Jammu and Kashmir was Rs. 247.65 Crores and the released amount was just 198.89 crores means a clear shortfall of Rs. 47.74 crores.

During the current financial year 2018-19 also there is a gap between what amount is demanded and what’s released by the MHA, though yet one full quarter of the financial year is left, this year the asked amount is Rs 93.33 crores and the released amount as on date is Rs 69.79 crores.

Commenting on the exposure under RTI, the information seeker said he would file a submission to the governor and chief secretary of the state to make senior officers accountable so that state government gets its share well in time under BADP and the officers submit the utilization certificates with the union home ministry well in time.