Kolkata, Jan 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) With less than three months remaining for the current financial year to end, the West Bengal government is yet to spend almost 50 per cent of central funds for rural development works received by the state under the 15th Finance Commission allocation.
As per records of the state government, for the current financial year of 2022-23, a total of Rs 4,848 crore of central funds for rural development was allocated under 15th Finance Commission for West Bengal.
As on December 31, 2022, out of that total amount only Rs 2,402 crore, which is 48.54 per cent of the total amount, could be spent.
Understanding the gravity of the matter, the state panchayat affairs & rural development minister, Pradip Majumdar is holding regular meetings with the bureaucrats of his department, district magistrates and panchayat functionaries to accelerate the pace of ongoing development activities so that as much of fund as possible can be spent by the end of the financial year.
State government sources said that the situation on this count would not have been so critical had a uniform pace of work in the ongoing projects would have been maintained since the beginning of the financial year.
The state panchayat affairs & rural development department has already directed the district magistrates to conduct general body meetings of the three tiers of the panchayat system in their districts and finalise the planned projects and the estimated expenditure behind them by January 10.
As per the directives of the department, focus should be given on development of toilets, sewerage system and waste management.
"It is too ambitious to think that the entire 50 per cent fund would be utilized in the remaining three months. But yes, a substantial portion of it can be achieved if the elected representatives in the three tiers of the panchayat system work in proper coordination with the district bureaucracy. The role of the elected representatives in the panchayat system is extremely important on this count," said a senior bureaucrat.