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When delay was synonymous to NC, PDP Governments in JK
Crores wasted on pending projects due to laidback approach of erstwhile regimes
1/7/2021 11:52:24 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 7: At present when National Conference and PDP are levelling the allegations of dilatory mode of governance in Jammu and Kashmir, these parties seem to have forgotten their own regimes when crores from state exchequer would get wasted due to inordinate delays.
As per the official documents, failure to take timely action to set up International Trade Centre (ITC) at Pampore resulted in blocking of Rs3.94 crore for around ten years. Besides, the expenditure of Rs1.06 crore incurred on fencing of land and payment of registration fee was rendered unfruitful and the State could not avail the benefits from envisaged facility for holding national/ international trade fairs, buyer/ seller meets, transaction of international business as well as the interface with the overseas markets.
The Government of India (GoI) Ministry of Commerce and Industries released the first installment of Rs five crore to the Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (SIDCO) as a grant under the Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) for setting up of International Trade Centre (ITC) at Pampore. The project envisaged creation of State of art facility for holding national/ international trade fairs, buyer/ seller meets, transaction of international business and a place from where the exporters of the State could have an interface with the overseas markets. The total cost of the project and the contribution of GoI under ASIDE were Rs 40 crore and Rs30 crore, respectively. The amount over and above the ASIDE contribution was to be provided by the State Government. The project was to be completed in a time bound manner and the State Government was to submit Utilization Certificate immediately after its utilisation, not later than 31 March 2010.
Documents have revealed that the amount of Rs five crore released by GoI in December 2008 was retained by the Corporation for around two years. On the GoI demanding (July 2010) the Utilisation Certificates of the amount, it was transferred (January 2011) to the bank account of Managing Director, (Director, Handicrafts Department, J&K Government) J&K International Trade Centre, being maintained with Jammu and Kashmir Bank, New Secretariat, Srinagar. Bank statements indicating the details with regard to investment of the amount, interest earned, as well as the amounts spent during the period of retention by SIDCO was not provided to audit. However, as per bank statement of ITC account, the amount was retained in current account from 11 January 2011, which did not earn any interest. Although the land39 measuring 371 kanals and 6.5 marlas was transferred (September 2004) in favour of Director Handicrafts by the State Government for establishment of ITC, the Special Purpose Vehicle40 (SPV) under Companies Act 1956 for managing its activities was constituted only in April 2012 and the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project was prepared in January 2014. Project works could not be taken up as the decision with regard to identification of executing agency between SICOP41 and JKPCC42 and finalisation of the DPRs was not taken. It was stated that revised DPR had been submitted to India Trade Promotion Office (ITPO) for technical vetting but the approval was awaited. An amount of Rs1.01 crore out of Rs 5 crore was advanced to R&B Department for construction of fencing around the land and the balance Rs 3.99 crore retained in the current deposit account. However, in the absence of any approved DPR, the amount of Rs 1.01 crore spent on construction of fencing cannot be treated as utilised for the intended purpose. It was stated that State Government had now floated a Company, Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organisation (JKTPO) and an expenditure Rs0.05 crore incurred for obtaining license under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. Thus, the failure to take timely action for setting up of International Trade Centre (ITC) at Pampore resulted in blocking of Rs3.94 crore for around ten years. Besides, the expenditure of Rs1.06 crore incurred on fencing of land and payment of registration fee was rendered unfruitful and the State could not avail the benefits from envisaged facility for holding national/ international trade fairs, buyer/ seller meets, transaction of international business as well as the interface with the overseas markets.
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