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Tourism Minister refutes the charge of non-release of funds to Uttar Pradesh

Commenting upon the statement given by the Hon’ble Tourism Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Om Prakash Singh, the Union Tourism Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma has observed that Government of India has not stopped any release of Central Financial Assistance to the Government of Uttar Pradesh for development of tourism infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh.

The Union Tourism Minister has emphasized that the Uttar Pradesh Government did not submit utilization certificates in time to Government of India which has resulted in not processing the proposals for release of funds because submission of all pending utilization certificates is a pre-condition for release of Central Financial Assistance as per GFRs of Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Quoting figures , the Union Tourism Minister said that in the year 2012-13, 12 projects were sanctioned with an amount of Rs. 34.86 crores and Rs. 20.12 crores has been released. Similarly, in the year 2013-14, 26 projects were sanctioned for Rs. 130.71 crores out of which Rs. 21.64 crores have been released. Despite repeated reminders sent to Government of Uttar Pradesh and review meetings, Uttar Pradesh Government did not submit Utilisation certificates in time and wasted eight months of the current financial year in submitting the pending utilization certificates, which have been submitted as late as in the month of November, 2014.

Government of Uttar Pradesh submitted the utilization certificates in November, 2014 and immediately upon receipt of the utilization certificates and based on the projects prioritized and submitted by Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Ministry of Tourism processed pending proposals for sanction and the amount of Rs.4.22 crores has been released till date.

Further clarifying, Union Tourism Minister pointed out that the Government of Uttar Pradesh has surrendered Rs.3.83 crores as unutilized amount during the current financial year because of non-completion and non-utilisation of funds of the projects earlier sanctioned by Government of India.

Referring to Varanasi, Union Tourism Minister emphasized that in the year 2012-13 for development of tourism infrastructure at Garhwa Ghat in Varanasi , Rs. 4.10 crore was sanctioned and Rs. 3.21 crore has been released, but the major amount is still lying unutilized with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

Union Tourism Minister further clarified that Government of India, Ministry of Tourism accords high priority to development of tourism infrastructure in all States and Union Territories including Uttar Pradesh and in respect of the projects submitted by the Uttar Pradesh State Government, sanctions have been issued/are being issued and funds released based on submission of all pending utilization certificates, adhering to the scheme guidelines.

Union Tourism Minister regretted the unfortunate use of un-parliamentary language by the Hon’ble Tourism Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

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