A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has observed that there has been a 60 per cent shortfall in release of central funds to Assam for implementing flood management programme. The report comes at a time when the state is grappling with flood situation in 13 districts in which 73 people have died. Till July 19, five lakh people were affected in the latest wave of floods. In its report tabled in Parliament today, the CAG noted that the Centre was to share Rs 2043.19 crore with Assam for implementing 141 projects in the state between 2007-08 and 2015-16. Of this, it released Rs 812.22 crore, a shortfall of Rs 1230.97 crore or 60 per cent. “There was a shortfall in release of central assistance by 60 per cent. Further, the state government also did not release 84 per cent of the allocated budget provision. Insufficient flow of funds adversely affected the implementation of schemes,” the report said. The CAG also recommended the Union Water Resources Ministry to release adequate funds in a timely manner as per flood management programme (FMP) guidelines and impress upon state governments to release funds to executing agencies in a time-bound manner.
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The ministry may also maintain a strict vigilance on utilisation of funds by the state government and executing agencies so as to avoid parking and diversion of funds. “The ministry may release/reimburse the funds to the state governments only after ensuring receipt of statements of expenditure, utilisation certificates and other requisite documents,” the report said. According to the FMP guidelines, the proportion of central and state share of funds for flood forecasting projects approved up to July 2013 was 75 per cent to 25 per cent. For the projects sanctioned after July 2013, the proportion of central and state share of funds was to be 50 per cent each. In the case of special category states (north eastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir) the proportion of central and state share was to be 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. For the projects approved after July 2013, the central and state share was 70 per cent and 30 per cent respectively in case of special category states.