The Shinde Fadnavis government’s decision to reconstitute statutory development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada and the rest of Maharashtra comes at a time when although the financial backlog as estimated in 1994 has been liquidated in the irrigation sector it was expected that the backlog in physical terms would also be liquidated as a result of enhanced allocation for the backlog districts. However, due to time and cost overruns, the physical achievement has not been commensurate.
With today’s cabinet decision, the Shinde Fadnavis government is expected to increase the allocation for these boards. On the other hand, the reconstituted statutory development boards will have to focus on expediting the development process in these regions and thereby address the issue of regional imbalance.
The government’s move is important as Governor BS Koshyari in his directives for the region-wise distribution of outlays in the Annual Financial Statement of FY 2020-21 however claimed there remain few sectors including energy, skill development and public health with a physical backlog in these regions.
‘’There shall be no diversion of funds from one region to another region and likewise there shall be no diversion from backlog districts to non- backlog districts. If re-appropriation of funds has to be carried out, detailed reasons for the same should be recorded,’’ the Governor had directed.
Considering the huge balance cost of ongoing projects and also in view of the dangers of spreading resources thin, the Governor had directed that the work on any new irrigation project shall not be started till the State Government is able to make adequate additional resources available to complete these new projects within a defined time frame, without affecting the availability of funds for the ongoing works.
‘’After the liquidation of the current financial backlog as estimated by Indicators and Backlog Committee in 1994, more than 25 years have gone by, and therefore there is a need to assess the imbalances in regional development created after April 1, 1994 till date. The latest data shows that there is wide disparity in the developmental sectors between the Regions. In the light of these observations, the Governor has directed the State Government to constitute a committee for identifying the imbalances in different regions and sectors and ways to achieve balanced regional development in the state. The said committee should submit its report within a year,’’ the Governor had added.
Governor had said that In the year 2011 while the State Government had constituted a committee for balanced regional development under the Chairmanship of Dr Vijay Kelkar, not much has been done to act upon its recommendations.
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