Fund crunch affecting welfare schemes

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Staff Reporter

Panaji

A delay in the submission of bills by the concerned government departments is putting pressure on the Finance Department to release funds for various social welfare schemes of the state government.

According to information received from sources in the Finance Department, government departments like Social Welfare and Women and Child Development are not raising their bills regularly on a monthly basis because of which the Finance Department finds it difficult to release funds to be disbursed to the beneficiaries of schemes like the Dayanand Social Security Scheme and the Griha Aadhaar Scheme.

The sources admitted that with the state already facing a financial crunch due to various reasons, the task of the Finance Department becomes all the more demanding when the departments submit bills of two to three months together for the various social welfare schemes.

Giving an instance, a senior official said the Social Welfare Department had recently submitted bills of four months together for fund under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme. The official said that in such circumstances, the Finance Department finds it hard to manage the affairs.

The finance department also has to look after the other expenses of the government including the release of salaries of the employees on time, the official said.

The finance department has been insisting on the departments implementing the social welfare schemes to raise bills on a monthly basis. However, these departments are continuing to submit accumulated bills of two to four months together. The senior official said the finance department has released `27 crore to the social welfare department for disbursing the monthly assistance to the beneficiaries under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme, as it was unable to release fund for four months together.

According to the sources, the government needs over `50 crore per month for the disbursement of financial assistance to the beneficiaries. As there is not much improvement on the revenue generation front, the government is struggling to manage the state’s finances.

It may be noted that thousands of beneficiaries under the Dayanand Social Security, Griha Aadhaar and Laadli Laxmi schemes are waiting for their financial assistance for several months.