Get your act together, par panel tells HUA ministry on failure to utilise funds

New Delhi, Mar 10: Expressing concern over under-utilisation of central funds released by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry under its major schemes, a parliamentary panel has asked the ministry to “get its act together and identify problematic areas” to expedite use of funds.
The standing committee on urban development, in its report on demand for grants for 2018-19 tabled in the Parliament yesterday, said it was concerned to find that the actual utilisation of funds was only 21.6 per cent or Rs Rs 7850.72 crore out of Rs 36,194.39 crore released since the launch of six flagship programmes.
It was apprehensive that, at this pace, the realisation of almost all the six flagships programmes would remain a “distant dream in reality”, the committee said.
The programmes are Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), National Urban Livelihood Misison and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
The committee noted that though a huge share has been allocated to AMRUT scheme, meant to provide for water supply, sewerage and drainage facilities to selected 500 cities, the actual utilisation was only Rs 2,480.43 crore which was only 28.74 per cent.
In case of Smart Cities Mission, the utilisation was the lowest at 1.83 per cent or Rs 182.62 crore out of the released Rs 9,943.22 crore, the panel said.
Under Swachh Bharat Mission, funds utilised were to the tune of Rs 2,223.22 crore or 38.01 per cent, against Rs 5,847.92 crore released under the scheme, the panel said.
In case of PMAY, the states have spent Rs 2,080.52 crore which was only 20.78 per cent of the fund released, it added.
“The committee are extremely unhappy about the actual scenario with respect to the flagship programmes of the government and the trend of central funds not being utilised,” the report said.
“The committee, hence, recommend that the government should get its act together and identify problematic areas leading to this slack implementation and address them on war footing, including the brittle financial health of most of the municipal bodies in undertaking Centres flagship schemes,” the panel said.