Despite Higher Outlay, Under-spending Marks Development Schemes In Delhi

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 10 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Centre for Civil Society, in its study on the State of governance in Delhi, has noted very low spending on vital development programmes as against higher, but justified allocations.

In a particular reference to Delhis poor fiscal marksmanship, the study notes that the city government spends a great deal of time, money and effort in preparing the annual budget. Midway through the year, each government department is asked to revise its estimates based on the spending during the first half. Despite all this, gross under- and over-spending is more the rule than exception.

Using the data for the period 1997-2002, the study says this mismatch is not just for a year. This reflects a failing in budget planning and implementation and hence a failure in fiscal marksmanship.

The study lists 10 major examples where the city governments spending has been poor on vital development schemes against higher but justified allocations. Under the scheme, conversion of dry lavatories into water borne for liberation of scavengers, the actual expenditure has been only Rs 71,000 as against an allocation of Rs 1,900 lakh. Under the Jan Arogaya Bima Yogana for poor children, the government spent only Rs 5,000 as against an outlay of Rs 1,150 lakh.

While Rs 150 lakh was approved for the scheme, the establishment cell for implementation and monitoring of health programmes, the government spent only Rs 50,000. The government set aside Rs 8,000 lakh for opening of new middle schools, but spent only Rs 1,086 lakh during five years.

The transport departments scheme for development of alternative mode of transport including electric trolley buses had a outlay of Rs 2,500 lakh during the Ninth Plan, but no figures are yet available to substantiate the spending out of this corpus even though the outlay under the 10th Plan has been increased to Rs 28,200 lakh.

The education department spent only Rs 1,737 lakh for providing additional schooling facilities for school children while the total outlay was as high as Rs 14,100 lakh. The study also notes that the 10th Plan outlay for the tourism department has been raised to Rs 6,000 lakh despite the fact that only Rs 789 lakh was spent during the Ninth Plan from an outlay of Rs 3,200 lakh.

The study also notes the archaeology department spent only Rs 46 lakh out of the approved outlay of Rs 1,325 lakh for setting up the Delhi City Museum.

Comparatively, the study notes spending in excess of the approved outlays in case of two programmes of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The MCD spent Rs 5,476 lakh for strengthening the inspectorate staff against an outlay of only Rs 100 lakh. Similarly, there has been a high spending of Rs 6,849 lakh under MCDs scheme for improvement of science teaching against an approved outlay of Rs 150 lakh.

Delhi Financial Corporation had sanctioned Rs 77.47 crore as loans during 2002-03 while the rate of recovery of loans has just been 40 percent of the total disbursal. The auditors have concluded that DFC has overstated its profits during 2002-03 by at least Rs 171.25 lakh and reserves and surplus by Rs 78.99 lakh.

The CAG report has found several instances of delay in recovery of loans and of granting loans against inadequate security.

The Delhi Scheduled Caste Finance and Development Corporation has released Rs 11 lakh as advance for purchase of taxies without proper agreement.

Of this, Rs 82.45 lakh have been blocked with a loss of interest of Rs 64 lakh besides unnecessary litigation.

No system of monitoring exists to see whether the loan and the accompanying subsidy generated employment or for the recovery of the margin money.