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White Paper: Manipur govt spends 46% of total expenditure in hill districts

The fund flow to the hills, as a percentage of the total developmental expenditure of the State, shows a fluctuating trend from 2012-13 but highlights a general increasing trend from 2017-18.

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Imphal: Manipur government has spent nearly 46 per cent of its total expenditure of Rs 3225.99 crore in the hill districts of the state during the financial year 2020-2021, according to a white paper released by the Tribal Affairs and Hills Development department, Government of Manipur here on Thursday.

The fund flow to the hills, as a percentage of the total developmental expenditure of the State, shows a fluctuating trend from 2012-13 but highlights a general increasing trend from 2017-18.

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As per the white paper, the last two financial years (FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21) show a substantial increase in the absolute figures and in the percentage of funds such as Total Developmental Expenditure as per Budget figures during 2011-12 is Rs.3396.73, in 2012-13 Rs.3381.18.

In 2013-14 the total expenditure was 3477.51 while in 2014-15 it was increased to Rs.4124.60 and in 2015-16 it was up to Rs.4290.15.

It may be noted the state government led by N Biren Singh had constituted a ‘Committee’ on August 25, this year, to examine the funds released to the districts of the State for the last 10 years, starting from Finance Year 2011-2012.

Based on the information submitted by various departments and the information of overall expenditure from the Accountant General and Budgetary Figure with Finance Department, the committee made a comparison of the actual development funds released for the Hills Districts against the overall annual developmental expenditure of the Government.

The white paper was released by C Arthur Worchuiyo, IAS, Director of the TA & Hills on Thursday.

Hill expenditure as per Departments reports was Rs.1321.93 in 2011-12, Rs.1330.89 in 2012-13, Rs.1270.52 in 2013-14, Rs.1411.14 in 2014-15 and Rs.1337.89 in 2015-16 respectively. The percentage of Hill expenditure against total is 38.92% in 2011-12, 39.36% in 2012-13, 36.54% in 2013-14, 34.21% in 2014-15 and 31.19% 2015-16 respectively.

The total Developmental expenditure as per Budget figures in 2016-17 is Rs.4597.33, in 2017-18 Rs.4830.73, in 2018-19 Rs.5015.34, in 2019-20 Rs.4874.58 and in 2020-21 Finance year it was Rs.7051.10. Hill expenditure as per Departments reports is Rs.1538.98 in 2016-17, Rs.1843.72 in 2027-18, Rs.1845.34 in 2018-19, Rs.2133.09 in 2019-20 and Rs. 3225.99 in 2020-21 respectively. Percentage of Hill expenditure against total is 33.48% in 2016-17, 38.17% in 2017-18, 36.79% in 2018-19, 43.76% in 2019-20 and it was 45.75% in the Finance Year 2020-21 respectively.

Tribal Affairs and Hills Development department held a press conference at old Secretariat, Imphal Thursday. At the press Conference TA & Hills Director C. Arthur Worchuiyo highlighted the expenditure of the Hill Districts of Manipur.

As per the press note issued by the Secretariat Finance department during the press conference, some major departments including Planning, TA & Hills, Rural Development, PWD, PHED, etc are responsible for the recent increase in the expenditure. There are many smaller departments whose expenditure is less due to the overall small budgetary allocation of these departments and do not have a major impact on the fund distribution.

Implementation of a few major projects leads to skewed fund distribution between Hill and valley districts and between the different hill districts which were seen mainly in beneficiary-based schemes whereby districts with a larger population get a larger share of scheme funds and in major infrastructure projects and fund distribution between the different hills districts need to be streamlined was observation given by the committee.

The Committee made their recommendation, based on the observations that to move away from the hill-valley fund allocation system in the Budget, to that of tribal sub-plan. This will help in monitoring fund allocation and expenditure in a better way. For better allocation of funds for the Tribal Sub-plan and also among different districts, the state government is considering adopting a formula along similar lines to that of the Finance Commission (both Central and State). Creating an institutionalized administrative mechanism to monitor the fund allocation and expenditure, the committee observed.

The Committee has reported that the report is to give fund flow to all the hill districts in the last 10 (ten) years, starting from the financial year 2011-12. The report aims to provide a department-wise break-up of the developmental expenditure in the hill areas based on the information submitted by the departments on the schemes, various projects, and other activities taken up by the state government departments.

The report said that many projects cannot be divided strictly based on expenditure in hills and valley areas. Many projects taken up in the valley districts are for the benefit of the Hill Areas including Tribal Research Institute, Hill Village Chiefs Guest House, etc or for the State as a whole like Manipur Secretariat, Inter-State Bus and Truck Terminus, etc.

The present budgetary allocation in the form of hill-valley is not able to capture the actual fund allocation and expenditure for the hill districts, thereby making monitoring difficult, stated the press note.

Joint Secretary ( Finance) Neilenthang Telien and other officials of the department were present at the conference.

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