Poverty Stricken Odisha Fails to Utilise its Funds

The flow of Central funds to Odisha was huge during the last 10 years under schemes such as the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF).

Published: 20th December 2015 09:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2015 09:54 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR:  The flow of Central funds to Odisha was huge during the last 10 years under schemes such as the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) and the Sarva Siksha Abhijan (SSA).

Though more than Rs9,000 crore was received for drinking water and sanitation during the last 10 years, only 1.59 per cent of the households in rural areas have piped water connections while the figure is less than 1 per cent in 17 of 30 districts in the state. As per the 2011 Census, 81.44 lakh households reside in rural areas of the total 96.61 lakh households in the state.

Only 1.29 lakh houses have water connections and 32.39 lakh families collect drinking water from the stand-posts in their villages. About 47.75 lakh families do not have drinking water facilities. Besides, 80 per cent of rural households do not have toilet facilities in the state.

Sources maintain that Central contribution for implementation of the SSA was around Rs10,000 crore during the last 10 years while under RLTAP, over Rs1,000 crore had been provided for the backward KBK region.

According to State Finance Minister Pradip Amat, nearly Rs70,000 crore budgeted amount remained unspent between 2004-05 and 2013-14. But supplementary budgets of Rs47,414 crore were passed in the Assembly during the same period.

Poverty.jpgOne of the major defaulters was the Home Department, which remained under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the last decade. Of the budgeted amount of Rs16,151.8 crore, Rs1,541.75 crore remained unspent. Similarly, Water Resources, Women and Child Development and Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Welfare departments also could not utilise more than Rs2,000 crore allocated to them during the last 10 years.

According to Minister for Planning and Coordination Usha Devi, allocation in the budget for Centrally-sponsored schemes from 2006-07 to 2014-15 was Rs13,649.84 crore, of which Rs3,122.32 crore remained unspent.

These include several Central schemes, including BRGF and Integrated Action Plan (IAP) in Maoist-affected districts. Under the BRGF alone, the state failed to avail Rs1,100 crore during the period as it could not utilise the allotted funds.

However, though funds could not be spent under different schemes during the past decade, the state government has sought special assistance from NITI Aayog to continue different ongoing projects.

Funds under several other schemes remained unspent during the period. The unspent amount is around Rs30,000 crore during the last 10 years. In 2014-15 alone, Rs3,558.26 crore under different schemes could not be utilised. Though the plan outlay of the state increased from Rs2,618 crore in 2004-05 to Rs31,019 crore in the fiscal, almost all departments failed to utilise the entire funds allocated to them. Department of Housing and Urban Development tops the list with Rs673.48 crore remaining unspent.

Sources said Department of Women and Child Development could not spend Rs561.39 crore.


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