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news details
Horticulture Directorate Jammu surrenders Rs 2 cr
Funds lapsed due to mis-governance
5/18/2017 11:59:56 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, May 18: Due to official apathy and mis-governance, funds meant for development of the state often get lapsed.
As per information obtained under J&K RTI Act 2009, a copy of which lies with Early Times, around Rs 2 crore have been surrendered by the Directorate of Horticulture Jammu during last three financial years
The details reveal that during financial year 2014-2015, Rs 27.88 lakhs were surrendered by the department. In 2015-2016, Rs 43.87 lakhs were surrendered by the same directorate as the funds could not be utilized.
In the financial year 2016-2017, an amount of Rs 127.94 lakhs was surrendered by the department. When the reasons for these lapses was sought by the information seeker under RTI, the cash crunch in treasuries and release of funds at the fag end of the year was blamed. A senior officer in the Directorate of Horticulture blamed the official policy for these lapses.
Only a few years back the much hyped "Horticulture Technology Mission" launched with an aim to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies, came under scanner in Shopian district of South Kashmir which is one of the largest apple producing districts in J&K.
According to a report prepared by Statistics and Evaluation Office, major embezzlement had been found in the implementation of various national and state level schemes meant for the benefit of orchadists to promote horticulture.
The Chief Horticulture Officer of the district was suspended for his involvement in the scandal and investigation was started against other officials. Till date, however, nobody knows what happened to the investigation. Sources say that suspended officer will be reinstated again as he is using political pressure for the same.
According to the record and data provided by the Horticulture Department to the Statistics and Evaluation Office, the former claimed to have spent a huge amount of money for the public welfare. Giving figures the Horticulture Department said it distributed Rs 79.77 lakh among the orchadists for rejuvenation of plants-Rs 74 lakhs as subsidy among the people for spray motors and other things; Rs 21 lakhs for irrigation to orchards; Rs 6 lakhs for farm handling units; and Rs 9.14 lakhs for public awareness programs.
However, when the Statics and Evaluation office conducted the reality check about the crores of money spent, major variations were found as most of the beneficiaries proved "fake".
"It is not the case with Shopian district only. In several districts of Jammu division as well such embezzlements have taken place but haven't been reported till date. The subsidies meant for farmers is being misappropriated and funds which are provided to the directorate are either being siphoned off or are being surrendered due to inefficiency of officials," said an official of the Horticulture department. "We want that officials who are responsible for the mess should be taken to task." he said.
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