State Govt relaxes condition to utilise Rs 150 cr special fund

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Oct 2018 09:41:34


Special Correspondent,

NMC also gets another Rs 52 cr in lieu of GST

Amount to be used for ongoing works, to clear dues

Removing all the hurdles coming in the way to utilise special grant of Rs 150 crore released by Maharashtra Government, the Urban Development Department has released another directive on Monday relaxing earlier conditions and authorised Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to spend funds as per its requirement and priority.

In a span of one week, the State Government has issued two government resolutions permitting NMC to release outstanding payment of their on-going works. Earlier GR had a critical condition of spending it only for new work as per December 12, 2017 directive and that created hurdles for civic body to release funds to the contractors and other ongoing works. Ultimately, the ruling party leaders pleaded with Chief Minister to revise the GR and remove this condition. The top NMC officials also met UDD bosses and convinced them to allow the civic body to spend the amount as per its priority since the money was due since years.

It may be mentioned that civil contractors, bus operators and electrical contractors are issuing warnings to NMC to release their funds or face stir. Meanwhile, Urban Development Department has also released Rs 52.57 crore in lieu of grant of Goods and Service Tax (GST) to the civic body. Now, the local body has around Rs 200 crore ahead of Diwali festival to spread happiness among stakeholders who are quite unhappy due to non-release of payment.

The State Government in its latest order clearly mentioned that Nagpur is a second capital of Maharashtra and therefore, Government has released special financial assistance to civic body. The NMC will be having full authority to utilise funds as per their requirements. The government has relaxed all the conditions of earlier order. The Urban Development Department has open a special account to release funds for the orange city.

Urban Development Department, in its order, stated that earlier, State Government had released Rs 15 crore per annum between 1995- 2000 for the special development of Nagpur. Later, this fund was not released by successive governments in the State. Now, present government headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis decided to again release special fund of Rs 150 crore to undertake special development of orange city.

Sandip Joshi, Ruling Party Leader in NMC has welcomed the decision of State Government to relax earlier conditions of the directive to utilise funds for the development of city. He expressed gratitude towards Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari for the amendments.

Standing Committee Chief Virendra Kukreja, while extending gratitude towards Chief Minister Fadnavis for relaxing conditions of earlier order stated that this fund would be used for making payment of on-going development work in the city.

It may be mentioned that Finance Department of NMC had suggested that the Local Body should request State Government to release a special grant of Rs 325 crore in view of financial crisis. The Department stated that NMC does not have its own resources to continue with the development work at this pace, therefore, it will require special financial assistance from the State Government to complete the work. The committed expenditure of the local body over salary, pension grants, electricity, raw water bill, payment to Orange City Water, petrol, diesel, telephone bills, security, repayment of loan, garbage lifting, Government’s cess, etc is around Rs 92 crore.