Mumbai: Even though the current fiscal year will end on March 31, the expenditure made by districts under the District Plan Fund for 2022-23 has been a paltry 14.47% as on Jan 17, 2023. This means a record 86% remained unspent.
Ajit Pawar, who had presented the annual budget for 2022-23 as Deputy Chief Minister in the previous government, had earmarked Rs13,304 crore for the District Plan Fund to be used by the District Planning Committee of respective districts. Notably, despite the coronavirus pandemic in 2021-22, the districts had spent 60% under the fund as on Jan 17, 2022.
Opposition blames state govt
A senior state government officer admitted that it will be difficult for districts to use the entire fund at their disposal by the end of the current fiscal.
A senior opposition party leader attributed the low spending to the stay granted by the State Government on some works proposed to be carried out under the fund. In addition, the state had also curtailed expenditure under this fund after the change in the government.
According to the compilation made by the Department of Planning, in Mumbai district, against the provision of Rs315 crore, only Rs99 crore was spent (31.63%). The Mumbai Suburban District’s spending was Rs141 crore (16.63%) against the availability of Rs849 crore, Raigad spent Rs24 crore (7.67%) out of Rs320 crore, Palghar spent just Rs18 crore (7.97%) out of Rs232 crore, Pune spent Rs222 crore (25.46%) out of Rs 875 crore, Nashik spent 31% of Rs600 crore and Jalgaon spent 23.11% of the Rs452 crore fund.
In the sugarcane-rich Ahmednagar, against the allocation of Rs557 crore, the expenditure was only Rs123 crore (22.09%); in the Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district a paltry spending of Rs58 crore (19.47%) was done out Rs300 crore. The coastal Sindhudurg spent only Rs29 crore (16.23%) out of Rs182 crore; in tribal dominated Nandurbar, against Rs145 crore only Rs13 crore (9.19%) was spent; Nagpur spent Rs23 crore (3.49%) out of Rs678 crore. The tourism capital of Aurangabad spent Rs35 crore (7.04%) out of Rs500 crore, and in Kolhapur only Rs30 crore (7.09%) was spent out of Rs425 crore
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