Kerala govt faulted on utilisation of Central funds

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 21 (UNI) The Kerala government could utilise only 27 per cent of funds allocated for seven centrally sponsored developmental schemes during the financial year 2006-07, Principal Accountant General (Audit) S Nagalsamy said today.

Addressing a press conference here after placing the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the Local Self- Government institutions for the year ended March 31, 2007, in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, he said out of Rs 260.80 crore allotted by the Centre for different schemes, the state could utilise only 70.63 crore.

As per the report, the planning and implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was not satisfactory, he said and added unemployment allowance was not given to any beneficiary in the state.

Majority of the job card holders in the state did not apply for work due to lack of awareness and restrictions imposed on them, he pointed out in the report.

Only 37 per cent of the registered households in the state was provided employment. Hundred days of employment, as provided in the Act, was given to just 0.54 percent of the people who made registered seeking employment.

The report also highlighted major failure in implementing developmental and welfare schemes. Out of 617 Rural infrastructure development projects undertaken during 1997-2006, only 369 could be completed. The State Government did not release Rs 38.07 crore to Block Panchayats, out of Rs 138.68 crore release by NABARD, the report said.

Mishandling of food grains under the Centre's Scheme of ''Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana'', violation of building rules by Municipal Corporations, unsatisfactory delivery of service to the people and excess release of funds by the government for special livestock breeding programme were the other highlights of the report.

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