Manipur Government Issues White Paper on Funds Released to Hill Districts

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.

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

As per the press note issued by the Secretariat Finance Department during the press conference, the State Government constituted a ‘Committee on the 25th August, 2021 which examined 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 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 Press note said that the Committee upon examining all available information concluded that the fund flow to the Hills, as percentage of the total developmental expenditure of the State, shows a fluctuating trend from 2012-13 but shows a general increasing trend from 2017-18. Further it states that during the last two financial years (FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21) show substantial increase in the absolute figures and in the percentage of fund such as Total Developmental Expenditure as per Budget figures during 2011-12 is (all in crores) 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 upto Rs.4290.15.

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.

In the Report of the Committee constituted by the Government of Manipur State that 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 the Department 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 was seen mainly in beneficiary-based schemes whereby district with a larger population get a larger share of scheme funds and in major infrastructure project and fund distribution between the different Hills Districts need to be streamlined was the 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-plans 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 district, that State Government to consider 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 from to all the Hill Districts in the last 10 (ten) years, starting from the Financial year 2011-12. The report aims to provide 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 state the press note.

Tribal Affair & Hills Director C. Arthurchuiyo IAS, Joint Secretary ( Finance) Neilenthang Telien and other dignitaries of the Department are present at the conference.

(DIPR)

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