JK needs to access full funding under flagship programs, says Mehbooba

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Jammu: With Centre relaxing norms in fund-sharing pattern, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has entrusted administrative secretaries with the key responsibility of bridging gaps with respective Central government departments so that projected funding under each Central flagship scheme is received well in time.
The Chief Minister said project-wise Utilization Certificates (UCs) should be submitted on time, which will pave way for speedy and effective implementation under various Centrally-sponsored Schemes (CSSs) in the state.
The Chief Minister said this while chairing the first high-level structured meeting to review progress on the implementation of Central flagship programmes.
Ministers A. R. Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Bali Baghat, Abdul Haq Khan, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Naeem Akhtar, Sham Chaudhary, Asiea Naqash, Sunil Sharma, Ajay Nanda, Syed Farooq Andrabi and Priya Sethi attended the meeting.  
Referring to the State’s weak resource base, the Chief Minister described the Central flagship programmes as a pivot of cooperative federalism, aimed at bringing down levels of poverty. She directed the executing agencies to ensure successful completion of all CSSs within the stipulated timelines so that people, who are the real stakeholders, get tangibly benefitted.
“In the upcoming DDB meetings, I expect feedback on success of CSSs after these were made part of Capital Expenditure Plans of each district,” she added.
Briefing the Chief Minister, the Planning Secretary said the restructuring of Central schemes has reduced the number of flagship programmes to only 30, majority of which will now be funded on a 90:10 pattern, with each scheme providing a flexi-fund component of 10 per cent. This, he said has reduced the burden on the State exchequer by Rs.134 crore.
To avail a capital component of Rs 5500 crore in 2016-17, a state share of Rs 820 crore will be required, the Chief Minister was informed. 
While reviewing the status of RMSA and SSA in Education sector, the Chief Minister took a serious note of lopsided teacher-student ratio in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar. She asked the department to further rationalize, especially lecturers and masters, so that schools in other areas of the state do not suffer. “Lecturers and other category of teachers should not be concentrated in city schools alone but circulated so that their experience and knowledge benefits the students across the state,” she said, while stressing upon strict implementation of the department’s transfer policy.
The Chief Minister also stressed upon bringing more schools under the ambit of Model School Scheme, so that students are given access to tools of e-learning.  
On infrastructure projects, the Chief Minister flagged submission of UCs on time and removing impediments in clearing all land acquisition proceedings, the two issues raised during her meeting with Union Road Transport & Highways Minister in New Delhi last week.
Roads and Buildings Secretary informed the Chief Minister that all UCs related to CRF have been sent to RT&H Ministry. He also briefed the Chief Minister about the strict implementation of DLP (Defect Liability Period) for contractors to ensure there is no compromise over lying of quality roads.
He also underlined the need to dovetail State Plan allocation with the overall plan outlay of J&K under roads sector in the Central Ministry so as to enable the department to complete all schemes in a time-bound manner.
On upcoming Model Hospitals in Dooru and Basohli, Health Secretary informed the Chief Minister that these will become functional by June this year. The targets fixed for physical works, equipment and manpower are in the process of being achieved, he added.
Model Hospitals are Centres of Excellence which envisage availability of four gynaecologists, three paediatricians, three anaesthetists, a physician and an orthopaedic surgeon to cater to patients, particularly in far-flung areas. With an aim to replicate the scheme in each constituency, the hospitals will provide free diagnostic service, drugs and maintenance of equipment.
It was given out in the meeting that under PM’s Package, a funding of Rs.900 crore has been earmarked, which will be utilized for setting up 10 nursing colleges, 22 model hospitals, providing ICU in each district hospital and establishing blood banks.
On the issue of losing manpower, identified as a bleeding point, the Health Secretary said against a maximum upper limit of 293 doctors, 879 are presently on deputation to Medical Education and other departments. The Chief Minister issued directions to plug holes so that deputation quota doesn’t exceed 10 per cent, which is fixed under the norms.
While Rs. 5 crore has been released for procurement of critical-care ambulances, another Rs.30 crore were sanctioned by Road Transport & Highways Ministry for procuring 136 ambulances.
The Chief Minister desired that preference be given to remote and inaccessible areas on the first charge of ambulances.
As regards status of power reforms under R-APDRP, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme, Mehbooba Mufti asked PDD to expeditiously complete procedural formalities to execute the projects on ground.
Keeping in view the poor response of contractors to execute the projects, the department was advised to rope in Central PSUs in getting the flagship schemes implemented. It was also suggested that the matter be referred to either the Empowered Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, or the recently-framed Group of Ministers on Infrastructure to suggest future course of action.
The Chief Minister also obtained to-date status of works on river Jhelum under Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management costing Rs.399.29 crore as well as the strengthening of embankments of River Tawi.
She reiterated her earlier direction to dredge the river and use the dredged out material for strengthening the embankments and earth-filling of Rakh-e-Arth colony for Dal dwellers as a special case.
Under the Prime Minister’s Package, Rs.1458 crore have been earmarked for flood management, out of which Rs.280 crore will be spent in Phase I and Rs.1178 crore in Phase II, to overcome the persistent threat posed by floods.
While giving a presentation to the Chief Minister on Rural Development Department, the Secretary presented a brief overview of MNREGA where J&K has fared well. The meeting noted that a Central team is expected to arrive in May to analyse the performance of J&K.
The Chief Minister desired that under the convergence plan of MNREGA, parks and school-grounds should also be developed for providing recreational facilities to children and students.
Against an allocation of Rs.785.44 crore, an expenditure of Rs.778.23 crore has been booked. An allocation of Rs.805.80 crore has been approved for the year 2016-17.
The Chief Minister also reviewed the progress under Swach Bharat Abhiyan, launched with an aim to achieve universal sanitation coverage and improving levels of cleanliness.
In order to ensure that benefits of social sector schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana reach intended beneficiaries, the Finance Minister suggested a Uniform BPL List. Many departments presently draw their own BPL lists, which raises serious questions of impropriety in implementation of the flagship schemes.   
Also present in the meeting were Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Financial Commissioner, P&D, B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Navin Kumar Chaudhary and Administrative Secretaries Rohit Kansal, Dheeraj Gupta, Shaleen Kabra, Sarita Chauhan, Dr. M. K. Bhandari, Khurshid Shah and Sanjeev Verma. 

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