BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has pulled up departments implementing infrastructure projects under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for poor utilisation of funds.
The Cooperation Department has reported ‘nil’ expenditure during the first quarter of the current financial year. The Government had sanctioned `233 crore including spill over of `83 crore from the last fiscal for infrastructure projects.
This came to notice during a recent review by Additional Chief Secretary Finance UN Behera.
As the primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) has taken a lead role in paddy procurement, the Government had made a budgetary provision of `83 crore in 2013-14 for construction of 246 godowns to create storage facility.
Officials of the Department said there was no response to the tenders floated for construction of PACS godowns. The non-response to the tenders was attributed to the high eligibility criteria and schedule of rates fixed by the Department.
Behera advised the department to relax the eligibility criteria to enable more number of bidders to participate and change the schedule of rates by taking approval of the Finance Department, if necessary.
Fisheries and Animal Resources Development and Commerce and Transport Departments have also failed to utilise any fund during the first quarter of the fiscal. Expressing his displeasure over the dismal performance of the two departments, Behera asked the officials to ensure that fund utilisation by the second quarter is upto the mark.
The performance of the Agriculture and Rural Development departments was equally dismal. While the Agriculture Department has utilised only `7.33 crore out of budgetary provision of `660 crore which is 4.58 per cent, the expenditure of Rural Development Department is 8.18 per cent. The RIDF outlay for Rural Development is `570 crore.
The Additional Chief Secretary advised that the Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation may be given administrative approval for undertaking construction of bore wells with available fund of `450 crore.
The Works and the Water Resources departments have reported over 20 per cent expenditure. While Works Department has utilised `161.33 crore out of an RIDF outlay of `800 crore, the Water Resources Department has spent `135.16 crore out of a provision of `654 crore.