While funds are available for taking up normal developmental works, most of the developmental departments are shying away for spending, which has come as a grave concern for the State Government.
This has come to the attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who seemed worried over poor spending by major departments during last five months.
Before the Supplementary Budget a review was taken and it has been pointed out that while normal expenditure on Programs are needed to be taken up as funds are available, several departments are not taking up the projects.
While funds are available in RIDF to an extent of Rs.4000 Crore, infrastructure development has taken a back seat in rural areas as spending is much less in this regard.
Expenditure in Infrastructure has suffered as projects are not taken up by the departments. As compared to last year till August, spending is less than 35 Percent during this fiscal till August 2020.
Major Departments like Agriculture, Forest and Environment are spending much less and it is a serious concern.
Take the example of MGNREGS, while a State like Chhattisgarh has been able to spend Rs.6000 Crore during this period, Odisha has spent Rs.2800 Crore in generating employment.
This is because the Line Departments have failed to utilize MGNREGA Funds, while Department of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water flushing them with plenty of funds.
Take the case of OMBADC, and CAMPA funds are available but there are no takers and in the alibi of COVID-19 Pandemic spending has gone down, admit officials.
Funds are available with Central Schemes as Government of India has provided at least Rs.6000 Crore during this period, however, reluctance in taking up projects has resulted in poor spending.
Another serious situation has arisen, where many departments and organizations have parked the funds in banks and have reported that spending has taken place in programs.
Some of these cases have come to the attention of the Chief Secretary, who is reviewing the programs regularly.
Utilization is Agriculture and allied Sector is poor, which is less 70 Percent than the corresponding period of last year.
While this year more funds were pumped in for the Agriculture Sector, spending is much less as compared to last year.
While extending credit facilities in the Agriculture sector has gone down Chief Minister has directed the authorities to scale up the credit facilities for the Farm Sector.
MSME Sector has performed well in arranging credit for the entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 Pandemic, however Agriculture Sector performance is not encouraging, officials admit.
It has come to the notice of the State Government that majority departments like Agriculture and Forest are purchasing planting materials from Andhra Pradesh and North East.
Crores of funds are being utilized by Horticulture and Forest Sector to buy planting materials for other states, where as there is ample scope for such initiative needed to be taken up inside the State.
Accordingly Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has asked to set up Mega Nurseries in the state for generating planting materials.
Sources said that Department of Forest has decided not to purchase planting materials from outside the state from next year.