Telangana: Officials can now spend up to Rs 3 crore without prior govt nod

The government has created a crucial balancing fund', under which collectors can allot funds at their discretion.

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has empowered district collectors by providing them Rs 3 crore each to take up programmes where there is immediate need to sanction funds.

The government has created a ‘crucial balancing fund’, under which collectors can allot funds at their discretion without waiting for government approval.

Mr Rao chaired a conference of district collectors here on Wednesday. Ministers, IAS officials, police commissioners, SPs were present. He told collectors that there was an adverse impact of demonetisation on TS like other states and there was no option except to encourage cashless transactions to overcome the problem.

“Past governments implemented many programmes and schemes, but there is a simmering discontent among the people. We have to find out where exactly things went wrong. People are not mere beneficiaries of government funds. Money will not solve all problems. Good policies and programmes should be introduced,” Mr Rao said.

On reorganisation of districts, Mr Rao said, “With this, each district has about 3 to 4 lakh households on an average. The district annual plan should be prepared based on the socioeconomic-geographic and other district specific needs and resources. ‘Know your district, plan your district’ should be the motto.”

He asked officials to register Sada Bainama lands for a fee. “We are giving permission to treat agriculture lands under Hyderabad, HMDA and Warangal limits as Sada Bainama lands.”

He suggested that crematoria should be created in the villages and where there is a sizable Muslim and Christian population, burial grounds should be provided by using MGNREGA funds.

Civic bodies still struggle
Despite a huge jump in tax collections in November following demonetisation, local bodies in TS are still struggling due to tax arrears. The Planning department has prepared booklets with detailed district-wise data that was released by the Chief Minister at the Collectors Conference on Wednesday.

According to the booklet, the 8,695 Gram Panchayats in the 31 districts face a burden of outstanding tax arrears totalling Rs 427.97 crore, while the 73 urban local bodies reel under arrears totalling Rs 1,644 crore.

Collectorates wait for funds
The government is finding it hard to sanction the Rs 150-odd crore needed to construct Collectorate buildings in the 21 new districts. After reorganisation of districts, the government sanctioned Rs 1 crore to each of the 21 new districts and Rs 25 lakh to the 10 existing ones to purchase the required furniture and shifting of files.

The Chief Minister wants integrated office complexes built in district, revenue and mandal headquarters. Presently, collectorates in the new districts function from Mandal Parishad offices.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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