Ramesh promises corrective measures on poor spending
New Delhi: Rural Development Ministry could spend only Rs 55,000 crore out of the budget estimate of Rs 75,000 crore for its various flagship programmes in the current fiscal and Minister Jairam Ramesh says he owns responsibility for it.
Despite the poor spending, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today allocated Rs 80,000 crore to the key social sector Ministry in this year's budget.
Ramesh blamed "serious administrative weaknesses in the poorest states of India"– Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha– which failed to "absorb and spend the money on time" and "complicated financial procedures" within the government which "delay fund releases" to the states for the less spending in the current financial year.
Presenting the budget in Parliament today, Chidambaram said, "We estimate that they (Rural Development Ministry) will be able to spend Rs 55,000 crore before the end of the current year, and I propose to allocate Rs 80,194 crore in 2013-14, making an increase of 46 per cent".
Addressing a press conference, Ramesh admitted that the Ministry could spend only Rs 55,000 crore in the current fiscal.
"It is a reality. Rs 75000 crore were allocated…. There is a collective responsibility. I can not pass on the responsibility to the states. As Minister for Rural Development I have to be held accountable…. I am not running away from responsibility," he said when asked about the poor spending of the Ministry.
Ramesh said steps will be taken for timely release of funds to the states for various schemes.
Reacting to a query on Finance Minister's statement that Rural Development Ministry this year has got 46 per cent hike over last year, he said it was because he compared the Ministry's actual expenditure of Rs 55,000 crore with Rs 80000 crores which has been allocated.