PANAJI: Most of the 191 village panchayats across Goa appeared to have failed in the utilisation of the funds allotted to them for different development works under the Fourteenth Finance Commission.
According to the director of panchayats Sandhya Kamat, only Rs 1.21 crore out of the Rs 10 crore allocated for various development has been utilised by the panchayats during the financial year 2016-17.
The highest amount of Rs1.8 crore was allocated to Bardez block by the directorate of panchayats, but utilisation was a mere Rs 9 lakh.
Similarly, Salcete block, which was allocated the second highest amount of Rs 1.6 crore, managed to utilise merely Rs 7 lakh.
The better utilisation has been shown by the panchayats of the Pernem block, which utilised Rs 32 lakh out of the Rs 64 lakh released, amounting to 50 per cent of total allocation.
The second-best performance was shown by the panchayats in Mormugao block, which utilised Rs 23 lakh out of the total funds of Rs 67 lakh.
The total balance of FFC funds with panchayats across the state is around Rs 24.24 crore, since the implementation of FFC.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has stated that under the FFC an amount of Rs 14.44 crore was given in 2015-16 for the state; for the year 2016-17, the amount was Rs 22.62 crore and for the year 2017-18, it has been Rs 26.07 crore.
The reply also states that during the last 18 months, an amount of Rs 2.62 crore was sanctioned by the Centre as performance grants which are mainly used to upgrade or purchase the required items like computer systems, stationery and to carry out other maintenance work of the panchayats.
“In the current financial year, we have received the second installment amounting to Rs 10 crore, which has been disbursed to the panchayats,” director of panchayats said adding that the Centre has asked the state to stress on sanitation and maintenance of the existing infrastructure and public assets including roads.
Kamat said that either by March-end or early in the month of April, the department will release 30 per cent of the total amount prescribed under the different category of rural garbage disposal scheme to the panchayats.