State to project its case afresh
JAMMU, Apr 5: In a major setback to Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India has changed Central funding pattern of eight States from 90:10 to 100 per cent, leaving J&K at the old pattern of funding due to non projection of its case with the Centre, thus, keeping the State deprived of what could have been a major financial relief.
Official sources told the Excelsior that Jammu and Kashmir was always treated with eight North Eastern States in the terms of Central funding pattern taking into account the “less financial resources’’ and “backwardness’’ of the State. The J&K and North Eastern States were always treated equally and their funding pattern 70:30 was raised to 90:10 simultaneously. Some of the schemes still have the funding pattern of 70:30.
However, according to sources, the Jammu and Kashmir Government didn’t push its case for enhancing the funding in the terms of Centrally Sponsored Schemes from 90:10 to 100 per cent while Minister Incharge North-Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh, mooted the proposal before the Union Cabinet for North East and it was approved. There are eight States in the North-East.
Sources said though the Jammu and Kashmir Government representatives had been favouring increase in Central funding pattern of the State at 100 per cent during their meetings with the Union Ministers especially the Finance, they didn’t push for it, a result of which the Centre gave nod to the North Eastern Minister’s proposal, which was confined for North East, leaving the J&K behind.
This, sources said, is for the first time when Jammu and Kashmir has lagged behind the North Eastern States in terms of funding under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes as J&K was being treated as Himalayan State, and was always clubbed with North East for liberal funding by the Centre in terms of Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
“The State Government now proposed to take up the matter with the Union Finance Ministry at the earliest to increase Central funding of Jammu and Kashmir in the Centrally Sponsored Schemes to 100 per cent at par with North Eastern States,’’ sources said.
According to sources, the Himalayan and North Eastern States, which were being treated as ‘Special Category States’, had projected their case with the Government of India for facilitating 100 per cent funding from the Centre under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes on the ground that, in certain cases, they even don’t have 10 per cent or 30 per cent mandatory funds for the project, a result of which the project is either shelved or gets delayed, leading to massive cost escalation.
While the North Eastern States managed to get a push of their proposal through the Minister Incharge NE States, the Jammu and Kashmir was left out and would have to project its case afresh.
“Some of the States including Jammu and Kashmir either couldn’t take up certain projects under Centrally Sponsored Schemes or they were delayed for want of requisite funds for them that led to delay in execution of projects as well as escalation of costs,’’ sources pointed out and said if there was 100 per cent funding from the Centre, the project will not only be taken up in time but completed within the prescribed period and there will be no cost escalation.
Sources pointed out that if approved for Jammu and Kashmir, the proposal would go a long way in executing the Centrally Sponsored Schemes well in time without any financial constraints, leading to developments of the State.
Sources said the proposal would help the Special Category States in timely implementation of their projects and prevent cost escalation.
The Himalayan and North Eastern States, which had projected their demand with the Centre, included Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur.
According to sources, the States have projected that they have been getting number of projects under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes but were unable to take up big projects due to their inability to spare funding from the State sector. It was in this context that the States have pleaded for full funding for the Central projects, sources said.
Courtesy: Daily Excelsior