Karnataka Congress claims dubious budget allocations and utilisation figures for BJP’s flagship schemes

The social media team of Congress has been time and again exposed for their misinformative and misleading tweets. Many times they have even been known to propagate outright lies. 2 days ago, they came up with another claim. That the fund utilisation under several of the central government’s flagship scheme has been only 21.2%.

They overlooked a fundamental aspect of giving data for percentage of utilisation of funds – time period. Interestingly the Congress’s claim does not specify the time period for which they have come up with the statistics of 21.2%.

Moreover, while one looks at the schemes they have mentioned in the tweet, the total budget outlay for them has been significantly higher. The Congress tweet does not mention whether their claim is for total allocation so far or for the current fiscal or for the last fiscal year. Even if one tries all the three possibilities and attempts to find any truth in the claim, their claim doesn’t add up.

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For example, if we look at the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, from its conceptualisation till date, the total fund outlay for this scheme alone has been over 50,000 crores as per the information on the AMRUT website.

On Budget day this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had stated that the total Budget allocation for the Smart Cities Mission which has 99 cities selected is 2.04 lakh crores. Also, Congress party erroneously forgets to mention that utilisation of fund for the smart city is a job to be taken up by the state government as the amount doled out by the centre is matched in equal measure by the state.

As for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY), according to the 2018 budget outlay for PMAY Grameen (rural) alone was at 33,000 crores while the outlay for PMAY (urban) was given at 31,500 crores. According to reports, The target of PMAY (Rural) is to complete 10 million new houses by March 31, 2019. Of these, 5.1 million units have to be completed by March 31, 2018. Even by this standard, the fund allocation mentioned by Congress seems absurd.

For Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) a sum of 33,000 crores has been allocated till 2017 and in the 2018 union budget, the FM announced the allocation of funds amounting to Rs 17,843 crores in the union budget. Statistics say (as on 22nd December 2017) :

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is a demand driven scheme and in the financial years 2014/15 & 2015/16 amount utilised exceeded the amount of funds being released; however in 2016/17, 95 per cent of the funds released were utilised. In the year 2017/18, Rs 9,582.2 crore has been released and Rs 6,981.9 has been utilised, translating into around 73 per cent utilisations (as on December 22).

The amount allocated mentioned by the Congress tweet hence fails to provide the correct data. The BJP, however, came up quickly to mock the Congress for their claim and called it a juvenile lie.

Even if one tends to assume the Congress claim of allocation was for the current fiscal year, the claim of 21.2% utilisation still looks questionable because it has been just more than a month since the announcement of the union budget. The Congress, however, has not come up with an explanation on the data they have provided yet.

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