Ranchi, Aug. 26: The fluid political situation in the state seems to have taken a heavy toll on development projects.
The total expenditure figures against this financial year’s plan outlay for 36-odd departments suggest that the state has been able to achieve only 13.4 per cent of the target till July 31. This means the state has been able to utilise only Rs 2,251.5 crore as against the budgetary allocation of Rs 16,800 crore in 2013-14.
Departments like civil aviation, commercial taxes, home, housing, personnel, revenue, disaster management and institutional finance have not been able to spend a single penny till last month.
Agriculture, building, co-operative, forest, planning, mines and geology, tourism, transport and welfare departments are the other major laggards, which have so far utilised less than five per cent of allocated funds.
Only a few departments — rural works (37.12 per cent), health (34.37 per cent) drinking water & sanitation (28.09 per cent), road construction (27.84 per cent) and rural development (22.37 per cent) — are the saving grace in the present situation.
Speaking to The Telegraph, development commissioner A.K. Sarkar said all the departments had been issued directives to speed up utilisation of plan allocations.
“It’s just the start of the financial year and will pick up momentum gradually. As everyone knows, government changes, too, apparently resulted in poor utilisation of funds. We have asked all department heads to pull up their socks,” he said.
Sarkar added that the performance of most of departments had improved in August, but the figures for the month would be available by the first week of September.
Sources said it was, nevertheless, a sorry state of affairs and a matter of grave concern for the Hemant Soren government, which was finding itself on a sticky wicket.
Hemant took oath as the chief minister of the state on July 13, along with his two cabinet colleagues — Congress’s Rajendra Prasad Singh and RJD’s Annapurna Devi. He ultimately expanded his cabinet to its maximum capacity of 12 on August 24, around 40 days after forming the government, which resulted in delay of several projects.
Even now, brewing discontent among the newly inducted ministers may add to the government’s woes.
After the fall of the Arjun Munda government in January, Jharkhand was brought under President’s Rule on January 18, which was eventually lifted in July.