The Centre has rejected a Parliamentary committee’s claim that most of the funds allocated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programmes have not been spent, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development has said that six of the government’s top infrastructure initiatives have used just 21% of the funds allocated on average. Among these, the Smart Cities initiative has spent the least – just Rs 1,826 lakh (2%) – of the nearly Rs 10,000 crore allotted to it.

Programmes to build affordable housing, sewage and drainage facilities have spent less than 30% of their allocated amount, the committee said, adding that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had “not made realistic projections or proper planning” to implement the project.

“They’re coming up with all these grand schemes,” Biju Janata Dal MP Pinaki Misra, who is the chairperson of the committee, told Bloomberg. “Too much has been promised, by way of too many projects, with too many fancy acronyms, that haven’t really been thought through.”

However, Rajeev Jain, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, dismissed the claims. “It [the non-utilised amount] is not a barometer of the implementation of the project,” Jain said. “The payment to a company that is implementing a project is only made when the work is completely over.”

He claimed that project managers had up to two years to send “utilisation certificates” to the government, which would indicate that the funds had been spent. “So far, $3.7 billion [Rs 24,100 crore] worth of projects have been completed or started,” Jain said.

But Misra said the ministry was “trotting out the usual excuses” by blaming bureaucratic delays in accounting for funds utilised. He claimed it was an “age-old gambit” played because the Centre lacked funds to disburse.