BENGALURU: THE state government has approached the Centre seeking funds for various programmes, including Nirbhaya scheme, induction of electronic buses, and exemption of service tax on carriage AC buses.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Maneka Gandhi and Anant G Geete in New Delhi on Wednesday, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “We have asked for release of funds under AMRUT scheme to buy new buses. We have asked money under Nirbhaya scheme to put in place infrastructure for women safety, induction of electronic buses and also requested for the exemption of service tax on state-run AC buses.”
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the meeting, “We have reviewed the situation and told them that the money is lying unspent with the state government. We told them to submit the utilisation certificates (UCs) and we will consider for release rest of the funds.” Karnataka has been told that since the city-modernisation scheme, JNNURM will come to end in March 2017, the state government should spend funds before that, he said.
The Centre has sanctioned funds to the state to purchase 1,701 buses, but the state government has been able to purchase only 582 vehicles. Of the Rs 239 crore released, utilisation certificates have been submitted for Rs 65.79 crore only. Thus huge amount is lying unspent with the state government for more than two years, he said.
Naidu said the Centre has allocated funds to the state under AMRUT scheme. The state will be allowed to use funds for other purposes after completing work in three areas. “We told them that priority under the scheme should be given for drinking water, sanitation and solid waste management,” he said.