Anantnag: Amid a shortage of essential equipment like PPE to fight Covid-19, six medical blocks and three hospitals in Anantnag district have left funds of about Rs 79.21 lakh unspent during the month of July this year, evoking a sharp response from the higher-ups, who have threatened to withdraw such funds in the future.
The facts have come to fore through a letter sent from the Chief Medical Officer’s office to different medical blocks and hospitals in the district, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader.
The letter, number CMOA/Acctts/3790-3800 dated August 20, with the subject “non-utilisation of funds” reads, “It has been found that you are defaulters in booking the expenditure (other than salary) which is in gross violation of the norms.” The letter mentions two Sub-District Hospitals (Dooru and Bijbehara), the District Tuberculosis Centre (DTC), and six Medical Blocks – of Achabal, Mattan, Bijbehara, Verinag, Shangus and Sallar – as defaulters on this account.
“Interestingly, these are the same blocks which have been crying foul over non-availability of essentials like masks, sanitisers and PPE kits. They have left Rs 79.21 lakh unspent out of a total of Rs 99.86 lakh allocated to them,” a source in the health department told Kashmir Reader.
As per the letter, Block Mattan has spent only 1.49 lakh rupees out of the total 23.18 lakh rupees allocated to it.
“Similarly, SDH Dooru has spent nothing from the allocated 4.1 lakh rupees. SDH Bijbehara has spent only 5 lakh out of the allocated 10.60 lakh, Block Achabal has spent only 4.45 lakh out of the 16.23 lakh rupees allocated to them, so on and so forth,” the source said, quoting the letter sent by the CMO’s office.
The letter, signed by the CMO himself, has threatened that funds might be withdrawn in future while terming the non-utilisation of funds as incompetence.
“It clarifies your incompetence and implies that you have no need of such funds,” the letter reads. “Before the funds are withdrawn, you are given a final chance to utilise these funds within this month.”
The letter further reads that the above directions stand in conformity with the instructions received from the office of Director, Health Services.
Kashmir Reader talked to the CMO Anantnag, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, regarding the issue. He said that the funds have not lapsed as of now.
“They will lapse in March. The funds, however, need to be utilised for making the health facilities better and that is why the letter has been shot to these blocks and hospitals. I hope better use of these funds is made instead of leaving them unspent,” the CMO said.