States have failed to spend Rs 29,760 crore under various flagship programmes during the last fiscal, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Monday.
He said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha that Rs 10,993 crore remained unspent under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Rs 5,859 crore under Indira Aawas Yojana.
Funds amounting to Rs 8,919 crore could also not be utilised under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Rs 3,987 crore under Integrated Watershed Management Programme.
The Minister said the States are required to utilise the funds as per the programme guidelines. The Ministry regularly monitors utilisation and advises States on the need to improve systems and processes.
To a question, he said, Eastern and Central States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have largely failed to utilise the funds under these flagship programmes.
However, admitting that there are some “very practical” problems in different States to implement such schemes, the onus of which rests on the States only, he said the Centre was trying to help such States to spend the money.
But at the same time Ramesh said additional funds were not released to States until and unless these furnish the utilisation certificates and audit reports.