CHENNAI: The Central Government owes Tamil Nadu Rs 17,000 crore on account of short release of funds for social welfare programmes, S Krishnan, the State Secretary of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Department, has said.
Speaking at a discussion initiated by the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) on the recently-tabled State Budget, on Friday, he said, “There is a systematic underprovision and funds are not being released for social programmes. In an exercise we carried out a month ago, it came to light that Rs 17,000 crore is due to Tamil Nadu on account of short release of funds.”
He cited a few programmes such as Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan as examples and said inadequate provision for social programmes impacted the State.
The senior IAS officer also claimed that the Union government’s priorities lay in other sectors. R Srinivasan, Associate Professor, Department of Econometrics, University of Madras, said that the State must focus on increasing its revenue and improving the delivery of public services.
Akila Radhakrishnan, Planning Monitoring and Evaluation specialist, UNICEF office for Tamil Nadu and Kerala, pointed out that the information about the social schemes does not reach the intended beneficiaries. “There must be a review and consolidation of schemes. Furthermore, the issue of timeliness in fund release must be addressed,” she said, stressing the need for a performance budget.