The conditions are being imposed in the context of low utilisation of funds in the State. Acquisition of land, where required for projects, should be completed before the project is submitted to Nabard.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has spelt out conditions subject to which it would consider projects for assistance under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.

This comes in the context of low utilisation of funds in the State, which forced the regional office to take up the matter at various levels, including the Chief Minister’s office.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Meanwhile, Nabard sanctioned 218 projects worth Rs 738.78 crore in the State during the year 2012-13 against the original allocation of Rs 600 crore (achievement is 123 per cent).

The total drawable amounts for the year 2012-13 by the State government in respect of ongoing schemes sanctioned up to March 31, 2012, were to the tune of Rs 880 crore.

Against this, the Government could utilise only Rs 258.26 crore only during the year 2012-13 constituting 30 per cent of utilisation, excluding an advance amount of Rs. 151.76 crore.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

It has since been decided that no project shall be accepted by Nabard without the approval of the technical design by the competent authority.

Acquisition of land, where required for projects, should be completed before the project is submitted to Nabard.

Clearances from statutory authorities such as forest development and pollution control should be obtained before submission of the project.

TOP PRIORITY

The sanction automatically lapses if the project is not started even after two years, i.e., projects sanctioned before March 31, 2011, but did not take off by March 31, 2013, will be cancelled.

For the 13{+t}{+h} plan period, Nabard has identified and prioritised 592 projects worth Rs 4,853.79 crore.

To facilitate identification of projects, Nabard believes that top priority should be assigned to the projects which are lying partly incomplete for want of funds.

The projects leading to improving the production/productivity of agriculture and agriculture marketing should also be assigned top priority by the State Government.

PROBLEM AREAS

Chief General Manager, Nabard, Kerala, observed that the following areas require immediate attention of the Government on project implementation:

(a) Introduce a mechanism for automatic updation of the schedule of rates by indexing to Central public works department rates.

(b) Tender approvals requiring Cabinet Committee clearances should be substantially reduced below 10 per cent of the cases.

At least 90 per cent of the tenders may be awarded at the department level itself. Adoption of the updated manual of instructions of the public works department could pave the way for the same.

GOVT RESPONSE

The practice of identifying designing and formulating projects in advance should be put in place.

The regional office of Nabard appreciated the fact that the State Government was very proactive and its response encouraging in the matter.

The latter has initiated measures to go for a centralised e-tendering process during the year 2013-14 and the departments have been issued instructions to monitor the progress more closely.

In addition, some procedural changes in award of contract may also be forthcoming.

Nabard requested the MLAs, MPs, ministers and district panchayat presidents to review ongoing projects more closely and ensure implementation in a faster manner.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.