Capex Budget 2023-24: Fin Deptt pushes for expenditure in budget to bridge infrastructure gap

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 9/19/2023 2:09:26 AM Front Page

Calls for all completion of sanctions, important formalities of elections by the end of this month.

SRINAGAR: In a recent meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Government Finance Department, concerns were raised about the lagging capital expenditure in the 2023-24 Capex Budget.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of securing funding from various sources, particularly Central Schemes (CSS) and Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP), while urging departments to complete NABARD loan projects on time to prevent cost escalation.
All this was done in the recent meeting which was held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Government Finance Department Santosh D Vaidya on Capex Budget 2023-24.
During the meeting it was pointed out with regard to the issued of Expenditure under Capex Budget 2023-24; Capital expenditure is lagging substantially. Following which it was ordered all the planning officers may ensure that the expenditure level is increased expeditiously to bridge infrastructure deficit;
Further it was stated that all the Departments may control revenue expenditure so as to create space for capital expenditure.
On increasing the Financial envelope, it was presented that of the four sources of Capex funding of projects in viz CSS, PMDP, Loan and UT, the CSS is of highest importance; the foremost task of all the officers is to get all the individual installments from respective Ministries under CSS.
Further, maximum number of installments should be taken from Gol under CSS/PMDP during this financial year. It was later ordered by Principal Secretary to Government Finance Department that the Departments which are availing NABARD loans shall ensure that the loan projects are completed in time so that there is no scope for cost escalation.
On PMDP Projects, it was informed that PMDP implementing Departments have 13 ongoing projects. Out of which 7 projects have been targeted to be completed during the current financial year and 6 projects during 2024-25 and beyond.
As more time extensions from Gol are not possible, all the Departments may expedite the physical/financial progress of PMDP projects so that the schemes are completed in time and the burden on the UT resources is not increased, directions were made in this regard.
On expeditious utilization unspent funds it was enjoined that several departments implementing CSS/PMDP projects have unspent funds with them which need to be utilized expeditiously so that they are able to claim fresh installment of funds from Gol. The action which has to been taken by all CSS/PMDP implementing
On submission of Utilization it was directed that all the concerned departments may expedite the submission of Utilization Certificates under CSS, PMDP to their respective Ministries in Gol so that each Department gets the next installment of funds from Gol by October, 2023.
On Physical Progress of Capex Budget 2023-24 (Ending August) it was found that progress of according AA, Tendering and Allotment of works is very slow. All the Departments shall ensure that by the end of this month that all ongoing projects are accorded AA; 100% Tenders are issued and allotment of works is accelerated, the directions were made during the meeting.
On forthcoming elections and imposition of Model Code of Conduct, it was enjoined that All the Administrative Departments should be cognizant about the forthcoming elections and imposition of Model Code of Conducts. In view of this, all the sanctions and important formalities shall be completed by the end of this month.
On uploading of data of MGNREGA it was directed that Rural Development Department shall upload the Data of MGNREGA on the BEAMS enabling the Finance Department for release of funds under MGNREGA.
On Inspections/Physical verification Works, it was pointed out during the meeting that the physical verification/inspection of works is playing a crucial role in transparency of the execution.
However, the progress achieved for the year 2022-23 is very low (5.75%). Regional Directors/District Statistical and Evaluation Officers shall expedite the physical verification of over 16000 works/projects, the direction reads.
Physical verification/inspection of the works has to happen systematically and shall be evenly planned for the entire financial year,
On Comprehensive Data base of all the Works it was enjoined that all the Planning Officers shall create a comprehensive data base of all the works being executed in their respective Departments so that no work is repeated and duplicity is avoided. The entire exercise shall be completed within one month. NIC may also be utilized for this purpose.

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