Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today accused the Centre of meting out “differential treatment” to the state in release of funds for projects under National Rural Drinking Water Programme.
The chief minister also urged the Centre to immediately release over Rs 138 crore towards the NRDWP.
In a letter to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, she cited proper utilisation of funds and recalled his commendation by written communication and his praise during a state Ministers’ conference in May.
She referred to his 4 July letter on release of funds under NRDWP and said the state’s closing balance on 31 March 2012 was Rs 243.86 crore. Of this, the state had received Rs 58.33 crore as incentive fund for good performance based on Management Devolution Index.
An additional allocation of Rs 98.20 crore was received on April 4 based on Tamil Nadu’s good performance and considering that the state had utilised more than 60 percent of available funds in NRDWP.
A further sum of Rs 12.24 crore was received under NRDWP Calamity Fund on April 4. Therefore, a total of Rs 168.77 crore was received in March and April this year, she said.
The government had spent Rs 87.45 crore on NRDWP from 1 April 2012 till date and “your Ministry’s Integrated Management Information System also shows Tamil Nadu’s expenditure as Rs 50.71 crore as on 30th June, 2012,” she said.
Recalling that Ramesh had lauded Tamil Nadu’s accounting and auditing model, she said he had also pointed out at the ministers’ meeting that states should not be held responsible for NRDWP Funds released at the fag end of the earlier fiscal, resulting in higher opening balance.
He had directed that the first instalment be released to all eligible states by 5 June, she said.
While the state government expected early release of funds based on his assurance, some states with higher opening balance than Tamil Nadu and whose expenditure level was almost on par with it as per the IMIS report, a substantial amount of funds had been released in 2012-13, she said.
“Such differential treatment and discrimination against Tamil Nadu leads me to wonder whether the release of funds is being done on a purely objective basis.”
“Against this background, given the fairly high level of expenditure incurred by Tamil Nadu till date, I request you to ensure that Tamil Nadu’s first instalment of Rs 138.58 crore is released without any further delay,” she said.