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March 21, 2018

State failed to utilize funds for skill development, central government stopped 67.35 crore payment to state department

Bengaluru : While the nation is grappling to hone the skills of young India to generate employment opportunities, Karnataka appears to have run out of ideas to develop the skills of its citizens and is, therefore, sitting on central government funds.

Under the renamed scheme of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM), the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation has noted that Karnataka has Rs 38.71 crore of unspent balance in it accounts as of April 1, 2016.

Further, the state has also not provided its utilization certificates (UC) for the expenditure under the scheme. Result: A sizeable amount of Rs 67.35 crore has been frozen by the Centre.

The central government, while responding to a question raised by Rajya Sabha MP K C Ramamurthy on NULM project on April 6 in Parliament had said: “As per the monthly progress report/provisional utilization certificate submitted by Karnataka, an amount of Rs.3,871.73 lakh (Rs 38.71 crore) was available with the state as unspent balance on April 1, 2016. The state couldn’t fully utilize the balance during the year and, as per instructions from the ministry of finance, no funds could be released to the state to avoid parking of funds.”

Confirming this, additional chief secretary of the department of skill development, entrepreneurship and livelihood, Sanjiv Kumar, said the state will take immediate action in this regard. “The NULM project, which was vested with the urban development department until April 1, was recently transferred to us. We have noticed that no fund was released for the state this year and will review the situation,” said Kumar.

The senior bureaucrat said the newly formed skill development department will now closely monitor the situation, with NULM and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) being transferred to its jurisdiction.

“With increased responsibility on generating skilled personnel this fiscal, we intend to monitor and utilize the schemes at our disposal. If the UCs have not been generated then we’ll do it immediately,” he said.

The main agenda of the NULM scheme is to provide employment through skills training and placement (EST&P). This is designed to provide skills to the urban poor to increase their income through structured, market-oriented certified courses and self-employment programme (SEP) which focus on financial assistance to individuals/ groups/ SHGs of urban poor for setting up gainful self-employment ventures or micro-enterprises.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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