Budget 2020: Government fails to utilise health, education scheme funds; money remains unspent

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January 30, 2020 5:06 PM

Budget 2020-21: PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana), a flagship scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi got expenditure of only Rs 6,556 crore till January 12 out of the allocated Rs 2,186.55 crore. 

 Budget 2020, Union Budget 2020 India, Budget 2020 India, Budget 2020-21, hrd ministry, health ministry, pmjay, health budgetUnion Budget 2020 India: HRD ministry has spent only Rs 801.83 crore from the Rs 2,100 crore given to its wallet for the RUSA  scheme till December 16.

Budget 2020 India: Several ministries and their departments of the Narendra Modi government have underutilised the funds allocated to them under the previous Budget 2019-20. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) have performed poorly in terms of expenditure on policies and schemes in the nine months of this financial year, reported The Indian Express. The English daily had filed RTI applications and has reported the data based on the responses elicited from the ministries. Ministries and their departments have not spent at all on some of their schemes in the last nine months and fall way behind the usual target of expending 75 per cent of the allocated budget amount.

The HRD ministry in RTI has responded that its Department of Higher Education has spent only Rs 801.83 crore from the Rs 2,100 crore given to its wallet for the RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) scheme till December 16. The department has performed poorly in other schemes such as Total Research and Innovation and World Class Institutions scheme as well. The department had utilised only 25 per cent of Rs 608.87 crore allocated for the Total Research and Innovation scheme till December 16 while only Rs 80 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 400 crore were spent for the World Class Institutions scheme.

Uchchatar Avishkar Abhiyan with Rs 95 crore allocation, Transformational and Advanced Research in Science with Rs 50 crore allocation, and Global Initiative for Academic Network scheme did not garner any expenditures from the Department of Higher Education. Three schemes named Prime Minister’s Girls’ Hostels, National Academic Depository and Creation of Centres of Excellence in Humanities were allocated Rs 32 crore combined but the amount remained unspent till December 16.

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The Department of School Education fared similarly to its higher counterpart in the HRD ministry. Only 1.88 per cent of Rs 368.20 crore allocated for the Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme was spent till January 9 whereas the department spent only Rs 8.56 crore of the allocated Rs 100 crore till January 9 for the SUCCESS (Incentive to Girl Child) scheme.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare faired better than the HRD Ministry as they could spend Rs 3,740.29 crore of the allocated amount of Rs 4,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna. However, PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana), a flagship scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi got expenditure of only Rs 6,556 crore till January 12 out of the allocated Rs 2,186.55 crore.

Ongoing slowdown and widening fiscal gap will make the case worse for these ministries and departments as the Finance Ministry has issued a communication last month to cut down on expenses. The Finance Ministry has asked the other ministries to cut down the expenses to 25 per cent of their annual budget allocation in the final three months of the fiscal year 2019-20. Earlier, ministries were allowed to expend 33 per cent of their annual budget amount in the last three months.

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