Imran Muzaffar (Greater Kashmir)
The CAG report after being tabled in the State Legislative Assembly sometime back had pointed to “financial mismanagement, non-adherence of eligibility criteria, and lack of monitoring and proper planning” in the department. The report had said that the department has completely failed to implement the vital flagship programmes of the Government of India.
An official source told Greater Kashmir that even after CAG observations, the “unnecessary retention of huge undisbursed money in bank accounts and delay in finalizing rates of contract in nutritive items under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) persisted in the department.”
“Non-release of funds continues to affect various vital schemes. This is not because there are serious technical faults but due to the careless attitude of authorities and their little concern for implementation of the schemes. Since CAG has also taken note of it, the National Social Assistance Programme is still to be implemented due to the non-release of funds,” he said.
The source said the department was yet to implement Contributory Security Scheme as well. “The scheme is aimed to benefit marginal workers in the age group of 20-50. But despite the CAG castigating the department over the failure to implement it, the scheme is yet to be formally launched.”
The CAG had also pulled up the department for not spending the huge unspent balance on the schemes. “The report had taken note that at the end of each financial year crores of rupees remain unspent in the accounts which are otherwise meant for the implementation of schemes and benefiting the marginal and weaker sections,” the source said.
The CAG report had, pertinently, said: “The supplementary nutrition under the ICDS was not provided to all beneficiaries from 2005-09 and shortfall ranged between 7 to 40 per cent. The health check-up and other referral services were not provided to deserving at all.”
The source said funds worth crores of rupees under another key scheme-‘Scheme for Empowerment of Skilled Women’- has been unspent, with the department putting tough procedure for applicants. The State Cabinet had in 2010 accorded sanction to the Scheme vide order No. 05-SW of 2010 dated 08-01-2010.
“The Scheme was aimed to grant loan to skilled women so that they may venture out for their concerned businesses. But the procedure for sanctioning of the loan was made so tough for the applicants that they backed out halfway,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, the Director and Secretary, Social Welfare Department, were not available for comments.