Only 10% of Rs 1,638 cr outlay for major projects spent so far

Only 10% of Rs 1,638 cr outlay for major projects spent so far
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with Finance Minister Thomas Isaac during a meeting. File photo

Thiruvananthapuram: As Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac is all set to present the state budget on Thursday, it has come to light that only Rs 172 crore have been spent so far on major development projects like the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) in the current financial year, though the government had earmarked Rs 1,638 cr for them.

Only Rs 4.41 cr has been allotted to the Kerala Waterways and Infrastructure Limited, while Rs 20 cr has been given for the Vizhinjam International Seaport project, Rs 30 cr for the Greenfield Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram along with the Rs 117 cr given for the Kochi Metro, the available data suggests.

The funds earmarked for the Monorail project could not be spent as the project still continues to be haunted by uncertainties.

In all, Rs 1,638 cr was set aside for 13 important projects which also include the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Palakkad, the KSIDC Electronic Hardware Park in Kochi, the KINFRA Mega Food Park in Palakkad, the KMRL's Integrated Water Transport Project and the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited.

Lost advantage

Finance Minister Isaac had earlier expressed the confidence that the planned projects would be swiftly executed with timely allocation of funds as the state government had got a full 12 months at its disposal to complete those announced in the State Budget 2018–19 as it could be passed in the previous financial year itself. The local self-government bodies too had the same advantage to utilise the earmarked funds.

However, with just two months left for the financial year to draw to a close, the earmarked funds for several projects have not been fully utilised. The government is yet to utilise Rs 18,467 cr out of a total amount of Rs 37,247 cr allocated for implementing various projects. These projects include many for the construction and repair of roads and bridges.

Out of the Rs 7,000 cr allocated for the local self-governing bodies, Rs 2,977 cr are also yet to be spent. The same is case with schemes funded by the central government as only Rs 3,617 cr out of the Rs 8,097 cr allocation has be utilised. In case the projects from the Central government are not implemented on time, the funds would stand cancelled.