Committee to investigate financial irregularities in centrally sponsored schemes
SRINAGAR: The centrally-sponsored schemes have come under scanner, as a monitoring committee has been formed to ensure “submission” of utilisation certificates and investigate “financial irregularities”. In Jammu and Kashmir, most of the centrally sponsored schemes have been hit due to non-utilisation of funds by the various departments. Government has issued circulars several times that departments do not fully utilise the funds authorized under different centrally sponsored schemes. In one of the circulars, the government had said, “All the administrative departments shall provide the details of allocation under different centrally sponsored schemes to the Finance Department. They shall also share with the Finance department the pending proposals/claims with concerned Union ministry, if any, during the currency of the current financial year to facilitate follow up action, if required, by the Finance Department.” Despite that several departments have failed to adhere the directions of the government. The Finance Department has taken a serious note over “lackadaisical” approach of authorities of various departments in implementing the schemes. A committee has been framed headed by Joint Director Budget to “track submission of utilisation certificates by the departments for centrally sponsored schemes. It has been tasked to “monitor utilised and unutilised funds and submit fortnightly consolidated summary reports. Investigate financial irregularities referred to it”. Accounts Officer Budget, Accounts Officer Resources are its members and Under Secretary is its member secretary. “Endeavour to improve efficiencies in the existing expenditure classification system including focus on capital expenditure. Strive to improve operational efficiency of expenditures through focus on utilisation targets and outcome. Move towards achieving reduction in financial costs through better cash management system,” the committee has been tasked. An official of Finance Department said that government has also taken a strong note that many developmental works have got affected over the years for non-utilisation of funds. “It had been seen most of the departments were failing to spend budget allocation funds in the first quarter of the year and then they were also not able to utilize these funds in the last quarter of the year due to weather conditions and other reasons. There are also reports about irregularities in funds in several schemes,” the official said. The official said that former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had also directed the departmental heads that project-wise utilisation certificates (UCs) should be submitted in time, “which will pave way for speedy and effective implementation under various centrally-sponsored schemes (CSSs) in the state”. He said government has asked the district development commissioners and HoDs to fix the responsibility for developmental works, which get affected due to non-utilisation of funds.