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The West Bengal government today asked all its departments to plan early for timely execution of various projects. In a directive, the West Bengal Finance Department said it has been observed that more than 50 per cent of the total expenditure is incurred during the last quarter of a fiscal year. This happens in spite of 33 per cent and 75 per cent of the Plan Budget being released on April 1 and September 1, respectively, the notification issued yesterday said. The cause for this "lopsided expenditure is that the main working season of the FY ie; April-June (first quarter) is utilised for planning, identification of schemes, according administrative sanctions, preparations of Detailed Project Reports and completing tender formalities," it said. By the time these formalities are completed, the monsoon sets in, the directive said, making it "difficult to start the work till September/October leading to actual expenditure only in the last two quarters" even though funds were made available earlier. To ensure timely execution of the different projects, advance planning by the departments is essential, it said. "The departments more or less have a fair idea of their possible allocation in next FY.
Therefore, the last quarter of a FY can be utilised for preparatory works including floating of tenders, so that work orders can be issued in the first week of April of the next FY. "Therefore, the departments should complete advance planning of works to be executed in next FY, including administrative approval and financial sanctions (except release of funds), DPR, tender formalities, etc," the directive said. The state government has in the recent past expressed its discontent over the manner in which funds allocated to the different departments for development works remained "not spent". Senior officials of the state secretariat said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was unhappy with the way departments like Agricultural Marketing, among others, failed to utilise funds alloted to them. As per the directive, all the departments "should further ensure that the cost involved in the projects/schemes put to tender is within their expected budgetary allocation of the next FY.
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