Govt to rush through with DDB meetings after plan approval16 June 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: In a bid to ensure that working season in hilly districts is not lost, the State Government has decided to go for District Development Board (DDB) meetings at the very earliest after yesterday’s approval of annual plan and Prime Minister’s Re-construction Plan (PMRP) of the State accounting for Rs 7800 crore-Rs 6600 crore in plan and Rs 1200 crore under PMRP. Official sources told the Excelsior that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has sent a message to the Planning Department to immediately finalise schedule for DDB meetings of all districts of the State. He has asked the Planning Department to prioritise meetings of mountain locked districts where working season is confined to summer and partial winter. The DDB meetings in two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar would be held later as working season in the two districts continued in the entire year. Sources said the Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Planning Department, issued instructions for immediate convening of the DDB meeting after highest ever annual plan of the State worth Rs 6600 crore was cleared by the Planning Commission in addition to Rs 1200 crore for PMRP. They added that the DDB meetings could begin as early as 'within 10 to 15 days’’ and completed either by the end of July or by the start of August. While Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would preside over the DDB meetings of some of the districts, the DDB chairmen, who happened to be the Ministers, would chair other meetings. However, Mr Abdullah would hold a review of the progress of developmental works of all the districts in December-January by when 60 to 70 per cent works approved by the DDBs should have been completed. It may be mentioned here that a number of districts in the State have very limited working season as most of the parts there become snow bound in December making the task of carrying out developmental activities very difficult. All such districts would be given priority in the DDB meetings. The Planning Department has been asked to hold meeting of such districts first so that development works, identified in the DDB meetings, are initiated at the earliest and completed well before the start of snowfall. Sources said the Government was keen to accommodate the demand of Opposition MLAs in the DDB meetings and would try to take up the works identified by them in the DDB meetings. There had been general complaints during the Legislature session that works approved in the DDB meetings, especially those asked by the Opposition, are not executed at all. As the Government has managed to get highest ever annual plan of Rs 6600 crore besides Rs 1200 crore under PMRP and was expected to get over Rs 500 crore under Centrally Sponsored Schemes besides other share from the Centre, it was confident that it would be able to execute majority of development works during current financial year identified by the legislators and other elected representatives including the Members of Parliament. During last financial year of 2010-11, the State had been able to spend 93 per cent of Rs 6000 crore worth plan and Rs 675 crore out of Rs 1200 crore in PMRP. The Government was confident that this year it would be able to incur the plan as well as the PMRP in full.