Jammu: Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu Friday chaired a high level meeting to discuss and approve the First Capital Expenditure Budget (Capex) of Union Territory, J&K for the year 2020-21 here at the Raj Bhavan.
Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor- Kewal Kumar Sharma, Farooq Khan, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Baseer Ahmad Khan; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance Department; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department; Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor; Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners, Jammu and Kashmir, besides all Deputy Commissioners and other senior officers participated in the meeting, in person and through video conferencing.
The meeting discussed the finalization of District Capex Budget for the year 2020-21, to cater the developmental needs of J&K with focus on the empowerment of Panchayati Raj System and strengthening grass root level of democracy through participatory management and mobilization of resources efficiently by fully providing matching grants through CSS and their effective implementation and monitoring.
The Lt Governor called for constitution of District Planning & Development Boards with focus on active public participation and their representatives to give shape to the Bottom up planning process for inclusive development of districts. He directed for formulation of initial preparation of documents as per the resource position including preparation of Panchayat level Plans and Block Level Plans and further consolidation of plans at district level by DDCs.
Notwithstanding the disruption created by the COVID pandemic, the meeting discussed detailed proposal under the District Capex Plan 2020-21, physical status of projects those targeted for completion in the year 2020-21, status and progress of works under Centrally Sponsored Schemes and approved a District Capex Budget 2020-21 amounting to Rs. 5136.40 crore compared to Rs 3079.54 crore in the previous year, with a 67% hike, comprising three components viz CSS, Rs. 4543.47 crore , Negotiated loans Rs. 403.50 crore and UT Component of Rs. 189.34 crore.
He stressed on the concerned authorities to take all the possible measures by taking into account the standing operating procedure of COVID-19 of social distancing issued by the government from time to time to accelerate the various ongoing works on various projects under different district sectors schemes (CSS/UT component etc) for their time bound completion.
The projects /works on completion under priority sectors viz Health, Jal Shakti and Education sector would provide assured benefits to about 25 lacs souls/students and on completion of 705 kms road would benefit large chunk of un-connected areas which would result in spread effect in terms of high growth trajectory and ultimately raising living standard through better mobility. The meeting was also informed that a 30% increase in the project execution performance was achieved in the current fiscal in comparison to the last financial year owing to technological interventions to monitor projects using PULSE (Android Mobile App) & geo tagging, in addition to 100% physical verification and third party monitoring.
The Lt Governor directed the DCs for creating online dashboards to monitor real time progress of developmental projects and track & dispose grievances of general public also on the same platform. Focus to be laid on transparency and participatory processes by actively involving PRI’s in closely monitoring the road, water supplies and electricity projects in their districts. He further asked them to identify at least one iconic tourist place in each District and develop it for the promotion of tourism.
During the meeting, the Lt Governor observed that the ‘Back to Village’ programme has received a positive feedback from all the corners. He emphasized on completion of all the pending works, under the programme, on priority so that the aspirations of public are met reflecting their say in the planning and policy decisions.
The Lt Governor called for allocating some percentage of the budget for maintenance of assets and stressed on adopting convergence model by dovetailing of funds under various schemes for optimum utilization of resources in developmental works. He also cautioned against disturbing the material-labour ratio under MGNREGA, as has been done in the past.
He also directed the Administrative Secretaries for close monitoring of the implementation of developmental projects and asked them to put special emphasis on the execution of languishing projects for their completion within the stipulated time frame. He observed that the Government is aiming to achieve the status of aspirational UT and asked all the stakeholders to put in a strenuous effort to attain the same.
The Lt Governor expressed confidence that the District Plans approved during the day shall lead to significant improvement in quality of life of people of J&K with the participation of people at Grass root levels and will provide much needed growth momentum to the economy. Transparency, timeliness, and equity shall be the bedrock of implementation, he added.