No UCs, no funds: Centre to AP

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The officials said no collector had sent any utilisation certificate till date.

Hyderabad: The central government is looking quite seriously into the fact of the state government not having submitted utilisation certificates (UC) by the state government for funds released under the Backward Areas Development Scheme (BADS).

The AP government has not fulfilled this requirement since two years for Rs 7,000 crore, and the central government has therefore withheld the release of Rs 350 crore under this scheme to AP this current financial year. The Union finance ministry has written to the state government asking to submit the UCs and the action plan of expenditure.

In its reply to the Centre, the AP government said no action plan had been prepared at the state level, the decision having been left to the district collectors and local requirements.

The central government released Rs 350 crore under the BADS in the financial year of 2014-15 for seven districts, each district receiving Rs 50 crore. This had been assured in the AP Reorganisation Act — that the Centre would release special development funds for four districts of Rayalaseema and three districts of North Coastal Andhra. It also released another Rs 350 crore in the previous financial year under this scheme. The state government has, in turn, released these funds to seven districts, disbursing `100 crore to each.

The collectors asked the state government to prepare an action plan of expenditure, but they were told that this was not possible as there were no projects that were common to all these districts. The state government told the collectors to spend the funds according to each district’s specific needs.

The officials said no collector had sent any utilisation certificate till date. A few days ago, the state planning department told the collectors to spend the funds for drought relief.

The state government has no data about these fu-nds: it does not know how much the collectors have spent so far and how much remained with them.

No UCs were sent to the Centre last year and the Union finance ministry will follow rules strictly while releasing the funds. AP officials are therefore not sure of the Centre releasing funds to it under this scheme this year.

An officer said, “We have sent the reply to the Union finance ministry; if they are satisfied with our answer, they will release the  funds, or else, they may seek more details.”

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