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Authorities Concerned Over Delay in Fund Utilization Under PM POSHAN Scheme in J&K

Authorities have expressed concerns over significant delays in the utilization of funds allocated for settling the pending liabilities of the 2023-24 fiscal year under the PM POSHAN Scheme. The Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reported that the Jammu and Kashmir Mission Director of PM POSHAN addressed this issue in a communiqué sent to the Directors of both regions.

The communiqué highlighted that Rs 5454.67 lakh had been released on June 14, 2024, to the districts of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (UT) for clearing the outstanding claims from the previous fiscal year. Despite these funds being made available, there has been a marked delay in their expenditure.

The Mission Director noted that, despite numerous reminders through phone calls and WhatsApp messages, urging for the maximum utilization of these funds to settle past liabilities, only Rs 12.05 crore has been spent so far, according to the PFMS Portal. This slow pace of expenditure has raised alarms at higher levels.

Additionally, the Ministry of Education, Government of India, has communicated with the Principal Secretary of School Education in Jammu and Kashmir regarding the delay in submitting the proposal for the release of the first installment under the PM POSHAN Scheme. This delay has significant implications for the continuation and effectiveness of the scheme.

For the proposal submission to be considered, it is mandatory that over 75 percent of the available funds be utilized. This stipulation is crucial for ensuring that the scheme receives the necessary funding to operate smoothly in the current fiscal year.

In light of this requirement, the communiqué requested the Directors of School Education in both Kashmir and Jammu to instruct the Chief Education Officers under their jurisdiction to expedite the expenditure of the released funds. Immediate action is necessary to make the region eligible for the next round of funding.

The delay in fund utilization not only affects the financial management of the scheme but also the implementation of its intended benefits for the current fiscal year. The effective and timely use of these funds is critical to maintaining the momentum of the PM POSHAN Scheme and ensuring that its objectives are met.

As the situation stands, the prompt action of all involved parties is essential to address these delays and ensure the smooth continuation of the scheme. The authorities are keen to see the funds utilized efficiently and the pending liabilities cleared without further delay.

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