Telangana Chief Secretary S.P. Singh
Hyderabad: An ongoing department-wise review by TS Chief Secretary S.P. Singh has revealed that over Rs 1,000 crore was yet to be released by the Centre to various departments under Central Sponsored Schemes in the current financial year that ends in the next 45 days. Many departments fault finance department for the situation. Officials of several departments say that failure by the finance department to release funds on time and also failure to submit utilisation certificates has resulted in the Centre not releasing the balance funds.
Data regarding funds collected from several departments shows that under the CSS, the Centre has to release Rs 1,099 crore and state government has to release Rs 1,560 crore as its share to various departments. The Centre has not released any funds this financial year for some departments, while the TS finance department failed to release any funds for some schemes, despite the Centre doing so. According to the Health department officials, the Central government had released Rs 204 crore under National Health Mission but the state finance department did not release these funds to the department. Under this scheme, the Centre has to release another Rs 500 crore to the state. But it will do so only after the state government sends utilisation certificates for the Rs 204 crore.
For BC welfare, the Centre sanctioned Rs 34.92 crore and released Rs 24.68 crore to the state government. The state government has to release Rs 10.24 crore as its share. However, the finance department has not only not released its share of the funds to BC Welfare department, but has also held back the funds released by the Central government. Officials have accused the finance department of giving top priority to the irrigation department in release of funds, at the expense of other departments.
Finance department officials defend themselves saying that they can release funds to the departments as per the priority set by the state government. Education, Health, Panchayat Raj, Municipal Administration and Rural development are some of the departments that are still awaiting CSS funds this year. Officials say that if the state government submits utilisation certificates related to several departments, it can claim around Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre. Earlier, the Chief Secretary had directed finance and other departments to get the balance funds from the Centre at the earliest as this financial year ends by March 31, 2017.