KOCHI: The state government has served a notice to local bodies for failure to utilise annual plan funds allocated for the 2016 – 17 fiscal. In a directive issued by Local Self Government Department undersecretary S. Suresh Kumar, local bodies have been instructed to take immediate steps to spend maximum funds for feasible projects before March 31. The LSGD’s notice is following the expenditure report of projects which indicated that only 21.86 per cent of the total funds had been utilised so far. During the last fiscal, the utilization was 37.78 per cent during the corresponding period.
District collectors should convene regular weekly meetings of the District Planning Committee to assess the progress of approval and implementation of various projects, LSGD authorities instructed. The LSGD strongly voiced dissatisfaction over the inordinate delay in planning and executing plan projects. A recent meeting of the state level coordination committee observed that there was no progress in implementation of projects though only less than two months were left for the fiscal year to end. Among the districts, Idukki tops the list with 26.17 per cent utilization of funds while Thrissur is in the last position with only 15 per cent of expenditure.
Ernakulam is in the 9th position with 21.97 per cent. Though local bodies can cite several reasons for sluggish implementation of Plan projects, a detailed probe is necessary to identify the unprecedented dip in plan fund expenditure which will directly affect development works, according to sources at LSGD. As per the performance analysis, Kochi Corporation is in the last position with only 15.47 percent utilization while Kollam tops with 23.30 percent. Meanwhile, district collector Muhammad Y Safirulla has said that steps have been taken to hasten implementation of projects and is expected to achieve maximum utilization by the end of the fiscal.