Funds for Nagaland pour in but secrecy in govt, lack of accountability defeats purpose of good governance

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Naga Republic News

 

With the promise of change to bring about good governance and transparency much will be expected of the newly elected government led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to put out all information related to development funds coming from Delhi.

 

Even as the new government formulates its 100 days target to bring about these changes in governance, funds continue to pour in for Nagaland but without much information in the public domain.

 

The new CM in his Budget speech assured to put into place ‘e-governance through websites and providing information in a transparent manner through digital India’. Government departments are yet to take pro-active initiative on this front.

 

If secrecy in government continues, not much is expected to ‘change’ on the ground despite the promise of good governance or transparency. Development funds of thousands of crores are released by the Central government to Nagaland under various departments.

 

To illustrate this point, The Naga Republic has accessed the list of Sanction Orders for the Scheme under ‘Article 275(1) of the Constitution’ given by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. In the last five years, an amount of around Rs 10,000 lakhs or Rs 100 crores has been released for Nagaland to the Social Welfare Department.

 

Rural Development is probably one of the richest departments. According to fund release records available with The Naga Republic, an amount of Rs 2276 crores has been released to Nagaland in the last five financial years. The present financial year 2017-18 is the biggest in fund allocation totaling around Rs 1104 crores.

 

Funds for last 5 yrs under MGNREGA (in lakhs) received by Nagaland

 

Rs 1104,92.875 (2017-18)

Ra 501,52.8 (2016-17)

Rs 266,65.95 (2015-16)

Rs 113,05.27 (2014-15)

Rs 292,14.8 (2013-14)

 

Approximate Total— Rs 227,828 lakhs or Rs 2278 crores

 

Funds for last 5 yrs under Tribal welfare Scheme ‘Article 275(1) of the Constitution’ (in lakhs) received by Nagaland

 

Rs 2025.11 lakhs (2017-18)

Rs 4890.16 (2016-17)

Rs 495.34 (2015-16)

Rs 482.7 (2014-15)

Rs 3031.24 (2013-14)

 

Approximate Total — Rs 10,923 lakhs or Rs 109 crores

 

It is obvious that there is lack of transparency and accountability on how these funds are utilized.

 

Against this backdrop of a new government working to fulfill its promise ‘change is coming’, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India has released around Rs 24 crores for Nagaland as grants for various schemes under the Social Welfare Department. Information of the fund release in the Nagaland government’s website is non-existent.

 

The Naga Republic has accessed sanction orders dated January 11, March 13 and March 20, 2018 amounting to Rs 8 crores, Rs 10 crores and Rs 6.9 crores respectively. The grants have been provided under Article 275(1) of the Constitution. These grants are primarily allocated for the welfare of the tribal population.

 

The Social Welfare Department, Government of Nagaland continues to receive large amount of grants from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs under various schemes of the Government of India.

 

On August 24, 2017, the Social Welfare Department of the State received an amount of Rs 18, 41,15,000 (Rupees Eighteen crore forty one lakh and fifteen thousand only). This was also reported by The Naga Republic.

 

Coming under Central Sector Scheme these are 100% grants provided to the State. It may be mentioned that the funds are given to fulfill the objectives under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India and they are released to the State Governments against specific projects for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes.

 

Huge amount of central funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) also continue to pour in for Nagaland with the State receiving the latest grant of over Rs 200 crores in just under ten days.

 

Three separate sanctions made include Rs 20.92 Crore on March 8, 2018; Rs 55 Crore on March 13; and Rs 144 Crore (approximately) on March 16.

 

It may be mentioned that on January 17, a day ahead of the Election Commission of India announcing dates for election, another amount of Rs 64.71 Crore under MGNREGA was sanctioned for Nagaland.

 

As per the sanction letters for MGNREGA in the possession of The Naga Republic, a little over Rs 1000 crores has been disbursed to the State government for the current financial year (2017-18).

 

Meanwhile in its sanction letter Dated January 11, 2018, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has stated that the sum of Rs 8 crores will be used by the government of Nagaland towards creation of capital assets for the year 2017-18.

 

The funds have been allocated for projects across different sectors.  They include Agriculture and Allied Sector, Education, Health, Skill Development, Income Generation and other activities.

 

Over the years the Social Welfare Department has received funds for agro and related activities, construction of hostels, running of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS), setting up health infrastructure, skill development and other income generation activities.

 

The sanction order dated March 13, 2018 amounting to Rs 10 crores has been allocated for construction of 2 Eklvya Model Residential Schools in Phek and Tseminyu.

 

Between the years 2015-17 an amount of Rs 2000 lakhs or Rs 20 crores was released, informed the sanction order letter. With the latest release, the total fund released for the 2 EMRS is an astonishing Rs 3000 lakhs or Rs 30 crores.

 

The third sanction order dated March 20, 2018 is for Rs 6.9 crores and has been released for six specific projects for the year 2017-18. The projects include Tribal Girls Hostel Seikhazou for Rs 45 lakhs, digitization of colleges for Rs 134 lakhs, fishery at Naga colony for Rs 54 lakhs, skill development institute for Rs 206 lakhs, Indoor Tennis Stadium for Rs 150 lakhs and a Tribal Girls Hostel for Rs 20 lakhs.

 

Surprisingly even the information provided on the sanction order is sketchy.

 

More information about schemes and programmes of the government along with funds released should be made available in the public domain. Continuing to function in secrecy will defeat the purpose of fighting corruption and the promise of good governance and transparency will be only lip service.

 

Ministry of Tribal Affairs sanction letter dated January 11, 2018 click on link

http://www.thenagarepublic.com/open-source-governance-project/ministry-of-tribal-affairs-sanction-letter-for-rs-8-crores-under-social-welfare-dept/

 

Ministry of Tribal Affairs sanction letter dated March 13, 2018 click on link

http://www.thenagarepublic.com/open-source-governance-project/ministry-of-tribal-affairs-sanction-letter-for-rs-10-crores-under-social-welfare-dept/

 

Ministry of Tribal Affairs sanction letter dated March 20, 2018 click on link

http://www.thenagarepublic.com/open-source-governance-project/ministry-of-tribal-affairs-sanction-letter-for-rs-6-9-crores-under-social-welfare-dept/

 

For information on Eklvya Model Residential School in Nagaland click on the link http://dsw.nagaland.gov.in/eklvya-model-residential-school/

 

For information on Grant under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution of India click on the link http://www.tribal.nic.in/DivisionsFiles/sg/GrantsunderArticle275.pdf

In : Nagaland, NEWS

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