Patna, Aug. 7: The government is planning to simplify rules for work allocation under the chief ministerís area development scheme to ensure the maximum utilisation of funds.
A proposal is awaiting the governmentís approval after which the new norms would become effective.
At present, for projects more than Rs 1 lakh, tenders have to be published in newspapers and a minimum of 21 daysí time has to be given for inviting bids.
According to the proposed changes, for any scheme up to Rs 7.5 lakh, tenders would not have to be published in newspapers. It would be done at the local level.
ďThe existing process takes around two months so far as awarding work to any agency is concerned. After introduction of the proposed changes, it would be completed within a week,Ē said a senior government officer closely associated with the formulation of the proposal.
To ensure that only a few players do not dominate the tender process at the local level, a provision to limit the number of works to be awarded to a particular agency would be inserted.
He said the need for the change in the rules was felt because the current process was proving to be a hurdle in the quick utilisation of funds.
According to the schemeís guidelines, construction of panchayat bhavans, anganwadi kendras, godowns, community halls, lanes, drains, bus terminal, shed for passengers, public library are among the projects that have to be done on priority basis.
Effective and quick utilisation of funds earmarked under the chief ministerís area development scheme is a priority of the government, as it was launched in place of the legislatorsí local area development scheme.
After coming to power for the second time in November 2010, chief minister Nitish Kumar scrapped the local area development fund.
Under the chief ministerís area development scheme, legislators have the power to recommend projects, while the district-level committees have the final say in the selection of proposals. The scheme ushered in the regime of competitive bidding too.
At his janata durbar on August 5, a question was put to Nitish on whether he was under pressure to resume the local area development scheme.
He said there was no pressure and only a few changes would be proposed in the scheme.
The state government officer explained: ďAs most of the works taken up under the chief ministerís area development scheme are small in nature, it has become tough to maintain the pace of fund utilisation. The number of schemes taken up are high, while it takes up a lot of time publishing tenders through newspapers and then completing the formalities.Ē