JAMMU – The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today said that planning monitoring and development department needs to strengthen its capabilities to do plan assessment, gap analysis and critical outcome reviews to improve the implementation of the developmental schemes in J&K.
He said although J&K has begun improving on all developmental indicators, its developmental story still remains a work in progress.
He underscored the pivotal role of the department and said that ‘planning department is essentially the eyes and ears of the government, and if it is amiss in its duties, it will have impact on the growth story of J&K’.
The Chief Secretary made these remarks in the review meeting of planning department, which was attended by secretary planning and other senior officers of the department.
Earlier, Secretary Planning, Sushma Chauhan informed that under PMDP, 25 projects have been completed and another 4 projects will be completed by the end of the ongoing fiscal year.
Sushma said union territory indicator framework on SDGs has been finalised with NITI Aayog covering 206 indicators and 81 targets. These 206 indicators include 23 UT specific indicators.
She said districts indicator framework covering 15 goals, 62 targets and 166 indicators has also been finalised and the districts have been asked to prepare district SDG progress reports annually.
It was further informed that J&K has shown improvement on 11 goals and has moved from being a performer to frontrunner in SDG index.
Sushma said that there has been considerable progress under e-samiksha, as out of 360 issues to be addressed; only 28 remain to be resolved.
She said the remaining issues are also being addressed on an ongoing basis.
Sushma informed that plan under BADP for the year 2022-23 for Rs. 228 cr has been uploaded on MHA portal.
She further added that savings accruing in the ongoing plan shall be aggregated with the next year’s plan and a consolidated plan shall be immediately submitted to MHA.
Dr Mehta asked the department to assess all ongoing developmental projects/schemes in the UT, independent of the departments, and identify gaps for correction.
He said J&K has lot of distance to cover on meeting sustainable developmental goals and asked planning department to coordinate with the line departments in measuring the performance under various indicators on regular basis.
“The regular monitoring of various developmental schemes in districts/UT level will speed up the implementation of the schemes and help improve expenditure outcome/efficiencies,” he said.
Dr Mehta asked the department to do sample survey of the assets built on the ground out of CSS funds to see if the quality parameters/intended service level objectives have been met.
He said the achievement of SDGs remains the top priority and asked the department to take measures in collaboration with the line departments to prepare an actionable time bound framework for improving on SDG index.
He advised the department to ensure in concert with the line departments that J&K secures the achiever status on SDG index in next three months.
The chief secretary directed the department to develop SDG dashboard in consultation with NIC within a week.
Dr Mehta said the performance of aspirational districts, namely, Kupwara and Baramulla has been good, however, they need to strive towards securing delta ranking in the next two months.
Saying that the initiative of aspirational blocks will enhance developmental equity, the chief secretary said, the initiative needs to be expanded to cover Panchayats and asked the department to prepare for roll out of aspirational Panchayats within three months.
He advised the department to launch a massive campaign for elimination of single use plastic from J&K.
The chief secretary also reviewed the implementation of CSSs in the J&K with the secretaries and asked them to fully utilise the CSS funds and submit the UCs to the relevant ministries in GoI so that balance budgeted CSS funds can be obtained before the close of the financial year.
Dr Mehta asked the departments to convert their scheme objectives into campaigns for sensitising the people and said that these campaigns will be well received and facilitate cooperation from the people in the fulfilment of larger policy objectives.