TODAY -

Govt brings out white paper on funds for hills
Source: Chronicle News Service / DIPR

Imphal, October 28 2021: Tribal Affairs and Hills Development Department on Thursday held a press conference at Old Secretariat, Imphal, where TA & Hills director C Arthur Worchuiyo highlighted the expenditure of the hill districts of Manipur.

The director informed newspersons that as recommended by the Secretariat Finance Department, the state government on August 25, 2021 constituted a committee, which examined the funds released to the districts of the state in the last 10 years, starting from finance year 2011-2012.Based on the information submitted by departments and the information on overall expenditure received from the Accountant General and Budgetary Figure of the Finance Department, the committee made a comparison of the actual development funds released for the hills districts against the overall annual developmental expenditure of the government, said C Arthur.

He continued that the committee upon examining all available information concluded that the fund flow to the hills, as percentage of the total developmental expenditure of the state, showed a fluctuating trend from 2012-13 but reported a general increasing trend from 2017-18 .

The last two financial years {FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21) showed substantial increase in the absolute figures and in the percentage of fund such as total developmental expenditure as per budget figures during 2011-12 was Rs 3396.73 crore, in 2012-13 Rs 3381.18 crore.

In 2013-14, the total expenditure was Rs 3477.51 crore while in 2014-15 it was increased to Rs 4124.60 crore and in 2015-16 it was Rs 4290.15 crore.

Hill expenditure as per departments' reports was Rs 1321.93 crore in 2011-12, Rs 1330.89 crore in 2012-13, Rs 1270.52 crore in 2013-14, Rs 1411.14 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 1337.89 crore in 2015-16 .

The percentage of hill expenditure against total was 38.92% in 2011-12, 39.36% in 2012-13, 36.54% in 2013-14, 34.21% in 2014-15 and 31.19% 2015-16, elaborated the director.

The total developmental expenditure as per budget figures in 2016-17 was Rs 4597.33 crore, Rs 4830.73 crore in 2017-18, Rs 5015.34 crore in 2018-19, Rs 4874.58 crore in 2019-20, and in 2020-21 finance year it was Rs 7051.10 crore.

Hill expenditure as per departments' reports was Rs 1538.98 crore in 2016-17, Rs 1843.72 crore in 2027-18, Rs 1845.34 crore in 2018-19, Rs 2133.09 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 3225.99 crore in 2020-21.Percentage of hill expenditure against total was 33.48% in 2016-17, 38.17% in 2017-18, 36.79% in 2018-19, 43.76% in 2019-20 and it was 45.75% in the finance year 2020-21.Also, as per the report of the committee, some major departments including Planning, TA & Hills, Rural Development, PWD, PHED, etc, are responsible for the recent increase in the expenditure.

There are many minor departments whose expenditure is less due to the overall small budgetary allocation of the department and there is major impact on the fund distribution.

Implementation of a few major projects leads to skewed fund distribution between hill and valley districts and between the different hill districts which was seen mainly in beneficiary-based schemes whereby district with a larger population gets a larger share of scheme funds and in major infrastructure project and fund distribution between the different hill districts need to be streamlined was observation given by the committee.

The committee made their recommendation based on the observation that to move away from the hill-valley fund allocation system in the budget to that of tribal sub-plan will help in monitoring fund allocation and expenditure in a better way.

For better allocation of funds for the tribal sub-plan and also among different districts, the state government should consider adopting a formula along the lines of the finance Commission (both centre and state) to create an institutionalised administrative mechanism to monitor the fund allocation and expenditure, the committee observed.

The committee stated that the report is to give fund flow from all the hill districts in the last 10 years, starting from the financial year 2011-12.The report aims to provide department-wise break-up of the developmental expenditure in the trill areas based on the information submitted by the departments on the schemes, various projects and other activities taken up by the state government departments.

The report said that many projects cannot be divided strictly based on expenditure in hills and valley areas.

Many projects taken up in the valley districts are for the benefit of the hill areas including Tribal Research Institute, hill village chiefs' guest house etc or for the state as a whole like Manipur secretariat, inter-state bus and truck terminus, etc.

The present budgetary allocation in the form of hill-valley is unable to capture the actual fund allocation and expenditure for the hill districts, thereby making monitoring difficult, the director explained.

Joint secretary (finance) Neilenthang Telien and other officials of the department were also present during the press conference.


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