Cru­cial miss

Down to Earth - - BUDGET -

re­lease of funds for pro­gramme im­ple­men­ta­tion as well as states refuse to de­pute func­tionar­ies to pan­chay­ats to im­ple­ment pro­grammes. This is the sit­u­a­tion af­ter 25 years of en­act­ing the Pan­chay­ati Raj sys­tem of lo­cal gov­er­nance.

On the other hand, for poor states such as Ut­tar Pradesh, Mad­hya Pradesh and Odisha, the spread of so­cial pro­grammes will be big and the bud­get will be high. Cur­rently, th­ese are the states in­fa­mous for bad gov­er­nance and least ca­pac­ity to im­ple­ment pro­grammes. So, the states that host the coun­try’s largest chunk of poor may not get any re­sult in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture due to the fi­nan­cial gain and au­ton­omy to im­ple­ment pro­grammes. The other im­por­tant ques­tion is how will the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment mon­i­tor the progress of devel­op­ment pro­grammes? The newly formed niti Aayog is em­pow­ered to mon­i­tor this, as Modi has writ­ten to the chief min­is­ters. The new body com­prises chief min­is­ters and we can­not ex­pect ob­jec­tiv­ity in per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion. What’s more, the new body is yet to spell out the specifics of how it wants to mon­i­tor states’ per­for­mance with the new changes. From this year, the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment will send all devel­op­ment as­sis­tance straight to the com­mon pool of states to be used as bud­getary sup­port. This means state bud­gets will be the new in­stru­ments to gauge devel­op­ment per­for­mance.

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