BHOPAL: Both the Congress and BJP governments, it seems, are not much interested in making the people of the state ‘happy’. In 2018-’19, more than 40 per cent of the Budget allocated for spreading ‘happiness’ in the state was left unutilised.
The Model Code of Conduct
The BJP was ruling the state till November 2018, after which the Congress formed the government after the Assembly elections in November-December of that year. Government functioning remained paralysed due to the imposition of the election model code of conduct for the Assembly elections from October 6 to December 12. Then, from March 10, 2019, the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections came into force.
Every year, the size of the state Budget has been increasing. Allocations are made and the governments make a lot of song and dance about them. But, at the end of the year, the allocations remain unutilised.
According to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General titled ‘Appropriations Accounts, 2018-’19’, the Happiness Department could use only Rs 3.44 crore of the Rs 8.5 crore allocated to it in that fiscal year. An amount of Rs 5.05 crore remained unutilised.
Who cares about the ‘annadata’?
Out of the Rs 4,922 crore allocated to the police department, Rs 1,220 crore remained unutilised in the same year.
The farmers’ welfare and agriculture development department was allotted Rs 16,864 crore, but could use just Rs 7,181 crore — less than 50 per cent of the allocation. Both the Congress and the BJP governments have been shouting from the rooftops about their commitment to farmers. But, going by the data, they are not actually interested in the welfare of the ‘annadata’.
The health department also failed to utilise Rs 1,393 out of Rs 6,393 crore. The PHE department, which is responsible for water supply in the state, failed to utilise Rs 592 crore. The urban development and housing department, which was allowed to spend Rs 8,094 crore, could utilise just half of it, with Rs 3,710 crore remaining unutilised. The PWD failed to use the Rs 733 crore allocated for the repair of existing roads and construction of new ones.
School, higher, technical education
The school education department, which was allocated Rs 11,058 crore, was not able to use Rs 2,771 crore. The higher education department failed to use an amount of Rs 1,430 crore. The technical education, skill development and employment was voted Rs 12,678 crore but left Rs 3,954 unutilised - this, when unemployment is growing in the state and students coming out of colleges are said to unemployable because they lack skills which are in demand in the market.
Tribal, SC & minorities department
Out of Rs 12,180 crore, the tribal welfare department failed to use Rs 2,898 crore. The Scheduled Caste welfare department could not spend 2,929 crore. The Food and civil supplies department failed to utilise Rs 2,858 crore out of the total allocation of Rs 5,120 crore. The poor state of minorities welfare department can be judged by the fact that it was allocated a paltry amount of Rs 6 crore. Adding insult to injury was the approach of the officials of the department who spent only Rs 23.31 lakh.