Assam amongst 8 states having large amount of unspent balances under Swacch Bharat Mission
- Assam named one of the states with large amount of unspent balances under Swachh Bharat Mission programme
- Assam has unspent amount of 606.30 crore
- Inadequate capacity at grass root level blamed for unspent balances
TNT News | Guwahati, Oct 06, 2018:
Though being awarded for good performance among all the Northeastern States of India, Assam, however, has been questioned for its inability to utilize the funds sanctioned under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
According to the report of the Standing Committee on Rural Development, it was revealed that Assam is amongst the 8 states with a large amount of unspent balances under the programme.
The other states include — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
It was revealed that Assam has unspent amount of 606.30 crore.
During the year 2017-18 and 2018-19 as on 24.05.2018, there are unspent balances to the tune of Rs 4197.38 crore and Rs 9890.84 crore respectively under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) lying with different states/UTs.
Spelling out the reasons the reasons for accumulation of unspent balances in SBM(G), the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation submitted that inadequate capacity at grass root level and existence of revolving funds and leveraging other sources of credit are the reasons behind the lapse.
The Ministry also maintained that "Higher unspent balance in States automatically reduces their Eligibility for further fund release in the subsequent year. Due to this specific modality and inbuilt provision in the SBM(G) guidelines, States observe better financial discipline. Strict monitoring methods are adopted to obtain the progress of each District on real time basis using the online monitoring system. Regular review meetings/Video Conferences etc. are organized by the MDWS to discuss issues
relating to implementation of the SBM(G) and utilization of funds."
Furthermore, it was pointed out that out of the Rs 138.00 crore funds released by the Ministry for repair of dysfunctional toilets in respect of SBM(G) under Swachh Bharat Kosh, only Rs 0.16 crore was utilized by the state.
It may be mentioned that Assam bagged a special award in the recently concluded Swacch Sarvekshan Grameen 2018 conducted throughout the entire country by the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. Assam received this award for its outstanding performance in the Northeast region.