The NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has claimed that its average spending has gone up to Rs 12,000 crore due to the timely submission of utilization certificates (UCs).
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma admitted that the submission of UCs has been an issue for a very long time.
“That is why if you remember my reply in the Assembly which I gave, because of the last three years, the way we have been submitting even UCs from 2001 -2005 that today we are able to spend much much higher than what we were spending in the last few years,” he said.
“If you look at the spending that happened between 2015 and 2018 was an average of Rs 9,000 crore a year that average today from 2018 to 2019-20 has gone up from Rs 9,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore,” he added.
Sangma said that this was possible if the state government is able to get the funds from the Centre and the only way to get the funds from the Centre is to be able to ensure timely submission of the UCs.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report had revealed that as on March 31, 2020, 838 utilization certificates (UCs) amounting to Rs 3,843.37 crore remained outstanding in the books of the Accountant General (A&E).
When asked, the Chief Minister said, “Yes, there is an issue. I have always mentioned in my previous press conferences also that the delivery mechanism at the grassroot level of different government schemes is one of the major issues that the state faces.”
“So we are not running away from this. We realised that this is an issue and that is why the UCs take time to come in and this is the reason why funds don’t flow fast but we are on the job, we have seen the difference, UC has improved vastly. (However), it is still an issue but as we go along and move forward, I am confident that we will be able to slowly minimize the problems that we faced in this issue,” he stated.
According to the CAG, major defaulting departments who have not submitted UCs and their percentage against total outstanding amount under Grants-in-Aid were education department (Rs 2,256.21 crore, 43.80 percent), secretariat economic service department (Rs 730.75 crore, 14.19 %), other rural development programmes department (Rs 507.06 crore, 9.84%), health & family welfare department (Rs 422.97 crore, 8.21%), welfare of scheduled castes, schedule tribes other backward classes (Rs 301.49 crore, 5.85%), special programme for rural development department (Rs 241.71 crore, 4.69%), rural employment department (Rs 229.54 crore, 4.46%), power department (Rs 127.39 crore, 2.47%), social security and welfare department (Rs 93.76 crore, 1.82%) and arts & culture department (Rs 72.86 crore, 1.41%).
The CAG said in the absence of UCs, it could not be ascertained whether the recipients had utilized the grants for the purposes for which these were disbursed.