RTI reveals poor utilisation of Central funds for minority development schemes
Information provided in reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that during the last five year plan (2007-12), the State Governments have not used even the half the money provided by the Central Government for the minorities under the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP).
The MsDP is an area development programme which is targeted for minorities living in 90 Minority Concentrated Districts (MCDs) across the country and includes many schemes. Those districts with at least 25 per cent of the minority population are categorised as MCD.
According to the RTI information accessed by the RTI applicant Mr. Sayed Anwar Kaifi, different State Governments have used just 48.2 % of the total money released to them by the Union Ministry for Minority Affairs (MMA) till February 29 this year. In all, the Centre had allocated Rs. 3780.4 crore for the MsDP, of which Rs. 2667.76 crore was released to State governments which in turn has utilised just Rs. 1287.3 crore. It has been revealed that:
- States which utilised less than 30 per cent of the funds include Karnataka, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
- States which utilised 30 to 50 per cent of the funds include Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Kerala, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir.
- States which spent 60 per cent or more of the Central funds for MsDP are Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
It has come to light that:
- Orissa used Rs. 208.32 crore out of the released amount of Rs. 256.22 crore out of the allocated amount of Rs. 313 crore.
- Karnataka used only Rs. 6.34 crore out of the Rs. 29.39 crore given out of an allotment of Rs. 39.9 crore.
- Uttarakhand used just Rs. 6.09 crore out of the Rs. 30.41 crore released out of Rs. 59.50 crore allotted.
- Bihar used merely Rs. 167.50 crore out of the amount of Rs. 367.46 crore released by the centre out of a total of Rs. 523.20 crore that was allocated to the State.
- The funds used by UP was Rs.347.61 out of the Rs.722.94 that was provided.
The low figures of utilisation speak poorly of the working of the state governments and indicate that most of the schemes for minorities have not been able to reach their target. The shortage of funds for the development schemes has been the regular complaint by almost all the State Governments.