Wednesday, May 31, 2017

No heart to provide succour to poor, Crucial Balancing Fund remains unspent in all 31 districts : By Ganji Srinivasa Rao

The Hans India: Hyderabad: Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
District Collectors throughout Telangana appear to have least concern for the trials and tribulations of the poor as almost all of them are reluctant to spend from the Crucial Balancing Fund at their discharge for the welfare of people. At a time, people are running from pillar to the post to get some help to overcome their personal tragedies like suicide and mishaps which could be remedied through Apadbandhu scheme, the District Collectors keep their petitions in pending by stating that there are no funds.
An RTI application submitted to the Planning Department by The Hans India revealed that very few District Collectors spent money from the Crucial Balancing Fund which is at their disposal to solve the problems of people. The Telangana government on April 17, 2015 issued an order releasing Rs 100 crore at the rate of Rs 10 crore to each of the then ten districts in the State to enable the District Collectors to undertake important works which are urgent in nature. Again the government released Rs 25 crore at the rate of Rs 2.5 crore for each district on May 25, 2016. And in the third installment, the government released Rs 93 crore at the rate of Rs 3 crore each for the 31 districts.
The Planning Department had even issued a Memo on August 1, 2015 listing out the rules and regulations to the District Collectors to spend the fund. The Memo states, “In this connection, it has been decided by the Government that the discretion for spending funds under the Crucial Balancing Fund (CBF) be left to the respective Collectors, duly according priority for any of the important socio-economic development activities and felt needs of the people. The District Collector is the sanctioning authority.”
The RTI application revealed that in spite of the government orders many of the District Collectors did not spend the funds adequately while some spent the funds for the works which were not mentioned in the Memo.     
During the financial year of 2015-16, the Adilabad District Collector stood first in the State by spending all the Rs 10 crore allotted to the district while Ranga Reddy District Collector was last in the list by spending only Rs 2.73 crore out of Rs 8.42 crore allotted to him, the Planning Department stated in its reply to the RTI application.
Likewise, Hyderabad district occupied second place by spending Rs 9.99 crore followed by Nalgonda district (9.37 cr), Mahbubnagar (Rs 9.05 cr), Medak (8.10 cr), Warangal (Rs 7.82 cr), Karimnagar (Rs 7.63 cr), Nizamabad (Rs 5.85 cr) and Khammam (3.38 cr), the Planning Department stated.  During the financial year of 2016-2017, the Hyderabad District Collector did not spent a single rupee though the government allocated Rs 5.5 crore.
Rajanna Sircilla District Collector spent only Rs 9.35 lakh though the district, which is represented by IT Minister KT Rama Rao, was allotted Rs 3 crore. Suryapet district secured the dubious distinction of spending funds for the works other than mentioned in the Memo from the Planning department. The government released Rs 317.84 lakh for the year 2016-17 and the district collector spent Rs 218.69 lakh.
However, the details revealed that the fund was spent on purchasing furniture, stationery, electronic and electric gadgets, CCTVs and even air-conditioners. Surprisingly the money was also spent to pay rent for the office and to undertake civil works. To cap it all, the fund was spent on organising a workshop on Right to Information Act.