Central Government demands the UC by State for Puri development under PRASAD scheme

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Odisha's revenue generation up 19%

Bhubaneswar, Mar 7: The Central Government has asked the expenditure details of the Rs 10 crores given to Odisha Government, two years back, for the development of Puri, Ramchandi and Deuli under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme. The Tourism Ministry has informed that the second phase of funds will be released only after the State submits the detail expenditure report. But the State Government is not able to submit the utilisation certificate (UC) as it had spent only Rs 1.5 crore till date.The State had received Rs 10 crore in the first phase after Puri district was included in the PRASAD scheme. The money was meant for the development of Puri, Ramchandi and Deuli. But the State Government remained silent after preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and only Rs 1.5 crore was spent. Meanwhile the Tourism Ministry has written a letter to the Odisha Tourism Department Principal Secretary, Arti Ahuja, to submit the utilisation certificate after which only the rest funds will be released. State Government had spent Rs 1.5 crore for the peripheral development of Deuli during Nabakalebara. After which not a single dime was spent. State Tourism Minister Ashok Panda said that as there are some issues relating to the DPR, the department was not able to spend further money. Not only DPR but the State Government targeted India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), a company under Ministry of Tourism, for not undertaking the development work. However the BJP said it is unfortunate that the State Government, which is alleging the centre to be ignorant, is not able to spend money for development of Puri. Rs 52 crores has been allotted for Odisha under the PRASAD scheme and Rs 10 crore had been released in the first phase but now as the State Government is unable to submit the UC, the release of second phase funds is in doubt.

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