EXPRESSING DISPLEASURE over the low allocation of budget to Chandigarh for the 2016-17 fiscal, the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs observed that low allocation would affect many development works in the city.
The Chandigarh administration had sought Rs 2,095 crore under plan head and Rs 2,991 crore under non-plan head for the current fiscal. However, it got only Rs 700 crore under plan head and Rs 3,237.79 crore under non plan head.
The funds under plan head are for development works, while the fund under non-plan budget largely cater to expenditure of salaries and other recurring expenses.
In the report tabled in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, the committee said the allocation is not in sync with what was projected by the administration.
While pointing out the effect of low allocation on projects under plan schemes, the committee recommended that the ministry of home affairs (MHA) along with with Chandigarh administration should pursue the matter with ministry of finance to get increased allocation as per requirement of Chandigarh in supplementary grant. The committee said the reduced allocation might affect projects of social infrastructure such as education, health and municipal corporation.
The 41-member committee headed by P Bhattacharya comprises Kirron Kher, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Vijay Goel, Derek O’Brien and Sitaram Yechury.
‘Insufficient funds for health’
For health, Rs 350.89 crore has been allocated against the projected demand of Rs 605.85 crore. In the last financial year, Rs 360 crore was allocated for health. The committee maintained that funds allocated for health were insufficient to improve health infrastructure in the city. The committee recommended that the government should look into this and enhance the allocation for improving health facilities in Chandigarh.
Administration had sought 605.85 crore for various health projects such as mother & child centre, construction of hospital in Sector-48, multi level parking in GMCH-32, construction of mental health institute in Sector 32, regional trauma centre, construction of new building of mental health institute, construction of 50 bedded hospital in Village Maloya, construction of administrative block in GMSH-16, infrastructure for 50 bedded hospital in Sector 45, purchase of PET scan and purchase of linear accilator.
‘Civic projects to suffer’
The committee pointed out that the budget allocation for the municipal corporation is also not as per requirement. In meeting held on April 16, the committee was apprised that the civic body has made plans for various development works which will be left incomplete for the want of funds. A total of Rs 250 crore is required for laying of pipeline from Kajauli water workers. The committee recommended that the MC should be given required amount so that the water problems of Chandigarh could be addressed.
UT special secretary finance Bhawna Garg said that they had taken up the issue with the ministry. “It’s good that recommendations have been made for enhancement of our budget,” said Garg.
‘Maintain 60:40 ratio’
The 60:40 quota system is in place for filling vacancies in the Chandigarh administration from Punjab and Haryana, respectively. The committee recommended that this system should be adhered to and there should be no violation of this arrangement sanctioned by Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966.
The committee also asked MHA to should pay attention to growing crisis of traffic congestion in Chandigarh. It has also asked the ministry to consider declaring Punjabi as second language of Chandigarh.