Jammu, Jan 20 (PTI) Asserting that expenditure efficiencies in the system have vastly improved due to a series of financial reforms, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta on Thursday said there has been a 12-fold increase in works completed in the current financial year over the previous years’ average in the union territory.

Mehta also hailed the improvement in current year’s revenue collections despite the ongoing pandemic and stated that a strong and consistent revenue performance and a positive outlook for future will underpin equally strong capex growth this fiscal and beyond.

“In the past, on an average 2,000 works would be completed. Now as on today, 11,508 works have already been completed and by the time the current financial year comes to a close, around 25,000 works are expected to be completed. This represents 12 times increase over the previous years’ average,” he said.

He made this observation while reviewing the functioning of the finance department. Additional Chief Secretary, finance department, Atal Dulloo and other senior officers of the department were present at the review.

The chief secretary said the expenditure efficiencies in the system have vastly improved due to the recent introduction of a series of financial reforms.

Mehta further said the capital expenditure (capex) performance has to be further improved to maximise the gains of fiscal reforms so as to create a virtuous cycle of the growth in Jammu and Kashmir that feeds on itself and continues to grow.

Giving details, Dulloo said that out of 44,245 projects and works taken up during 2021-22 under district capex, 42,102 works have been accorded administrative approval, out of which 40248 works have been tendered.

As many as 28,523 works out of the tendered works have been allotted and  presently under execution. The department informed that out of 28,523 works under execution, around 25,000 are expected to be completed during this fiscal year.

Dulloo said out of 2,357 works sanctioned under languishing projects, 1,192 works have been completed so far at a cost of Rs 1,983.77 crore.

He further said the expenditure performance of various departments is being monitored and wherever necessary, instructions are being issued to increase the spending so that the annual capex targets are met by the department.

Highlighting the importance of monitoring the regular inflows from the Centre, the Chief Secretary said the department must work closely with the departments for seeking more funds from the union government.

Mehta laid emphasis on ensuring real time audit of the departments through e-audit and said instead of auditing account books on ex-post basis, the department needs to do so on ex-ante basis so that deviations from norms are checked before they happen.

Stating that Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are the top focus of the government, the Chief Secretary said the developmental spending in rural areas needs to be ramped up with the close support of the representatives of the local self government for better infrastructure development. PTI AB ABM ABM

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