BENGALURU: The state is getting thousands of crores in loans from international agencies (banks) for Externally Aided Projects (EAP) taken up by the government. But the slow pace of works has prompted the Union Finance Secretary to shoot off a strong letter to the State Chief Secretary urging him to complete the projects in a time-bound manner.
Various government departments have taken loans from international agencies including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Development Association (World Bank group), Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development. But not much seems to have been done on the ground.
In view of this, Union Finance Secretary Shaktikanta Das has written to Chief Secretary Subash Chandra Khuntia stating, “EAPs play a key role in economic development and the state government has received significant financial commitments from various multilateral/bilateral agencies to finance projects in the state.’’
“Since the unspent balances under EAPs are large, there is a need for strengthening the implementation and monitoring mechanisms for these projects. You are therefore requested to take necessary steps to ensure speedy implementation of projects so that the resources available from external funding are efficiently utilised in a time-bound manner,’’ he stated. Following this, Khuntia has written to Principal Secretaries of various departments including Water Resources, PWD, Urban Development, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and others urging them to strengthen the implementation and monitoring mechanisms as there is low disbursement in EAP.
He has directed them to conduct a thorough review of the projects at the earliest and to send a report with the reasons for the delay in implementation and low disbursement of funds along with the suggested action. On Saturday, Khuntia convened a meeting of the Karnataka Development Programme with the secretaries. When contacted, he said various projects were reviewed. He also said he had directed officials to speed up the work and report to him.
Sources in the office of the Chief Minister’s Secretary said that under EAPs, the government releases funds as and when work is completed. Only after completion, the EAs release the amount to the state government. “In our case, there has been progress in many of the works, but disbursement is low. Also, officials in EAPs are frequently transferred,’’ sources said.