Smart city mission: Maharashtra ‘delays’ transfer of Union funds to implementing body
After forcing PMC to rush ahead with formation of a special purpose vehicle—Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL)—to receive Union government funds, the state government has now kept the newly-formed company waiting for the Rs 194 crore sanctioned despite its transfer by the Centre. “The Union government communicated to PMC on April 10 that Rs 194 crore have been transferred to the state government to be handed over to the SPV. However, it’s now a month that the money is yet to be received from the state government,” said a civic official. “The first thing that the newly-formed PSCDCL is made to do is follow up for funds with the state government,” the official said, adding that the SPV has started operations with two meetings of its board of directors. The administrative process to undertake projects in the smart city mission has already been initiated, but the projects cannot be implemented unless the funds are received.
The PSCDCL has initiated steps to complete its administrative setup and start recruitment for it. The company would also have to set up its office within the civic jurisdiction. The civic official said that the state government has not communicated the reasons for delay in transferring funds allotted by the Union government. The Union government had urged the state and the civic body to contribute equal amounts of funds from their side within a week. “The PMC has made budgetary provisions to give funds to PSCDCL. So it is with the state government to contribute for it, along with transferring Union government funds to the new company,” the official added. In the communication of fund allocation, the Union government had said that sanctions have been done on the condition that the amount should be used by PSCDCL for implementation of the project and the funds should be kept in a separate grant funds account created exclusively for the mission.
The communication also said that the money should be utilised strictly in accordance with guidelines of the mission. The fund should not be used for setting up SPVs or for internal use. The SPV has to furnish utilisation certificates in respect of the funds released at an earlier date, it said. The funds should neither be used for purchase of vehicles and equipments, construction and maintenance of buildings, creation of posts, payment of salary of SPV staff, it had clarified.