Thiruvananthapuram: The State's Plan Fund has a balance of Rs. 11,510 Cr to be spent as only six days are left in the financial year. It has become clear that the plan expenditure of this year will not meet the target even after reducing the expenditure by 20 per cent, and even as the state is facing acute financial crisis.
Out of the Plan Fund of Rs. 29,150 Cr, only 17, 640.66 Cr has been spent, which translates into 60.52 per cent. The balance 40 per cent has to be spent within the six days. As 20 per cent expenses of a few of the departments were cut down, Rs. 2000 Cr is to be saved.
Even if it is so, 9,000 Cr has to be spent within the six days. Supposing that the fund is spent uner diverse heads and bills are raised, it will not however mean a productive expenditure. Due to financial crisis, treasury expenses have been tightly controlled for the last few months. Even the bills encashed are shifted to electronic ledgers without paying the amount, amd the amount will be disbursed later according to priority.
A part of the current expenditure is also to be paid later. Last year the Project Fund utilization had touched 90.25 per cent. It was 84.15 in 2016-17, 82.29 in 2015-16 and 68.37 in 2014-15. This year, as of now it is 60.52 per cent.
Rs. 7,000 Cr is allocated to local self government bodies. Of this, expenditure has reached 73.64 per cent.
To enhance the Plan Fund operations, the budget was approved in full before the starting of the financial year which means, the Project Fund activities had a whole year starting from 1st April. However, the benefit of this action is not visible in the Plan Fund execution. This is attributed to flood, cut in the flow of tax after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the economic crisis.
Rs. 1,466.02 was set apart for large-scale projects. However, not a single rupee was spent under this head. Last year also, though Rs. 2,000 crore was earmarked in this regard, the amount was not spent. The allocation of fund for large-scale project has become a routine gimmick.
The Cooperation department has scored the highest rank in terms of expenditure with 233.44 per cent. The department was allocated Rs. 160.36 Cr. However, it spent Rs. 374.34 Cr. Public Works Department has spent 111.83 per cent and Harbour department 107.40 per cent.
Backward development, Public Relations, Personnel and Administrative Reforms department have achieved more than 90 per cent utilization.
The Housing department stands at bottom of the list with only 2.82 per cent.