The government’s move to shift a centrally-sponsored scheme (CSS) — Livestocks Health and Diseases Control Programme — to ‘state plan’ from the current fiscal has resulted in decline in vaccination for food and mouth diseases (FMDs) in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab.
This could result in outbreak of FMDs amongst animal population, which had been largely eradicated because of countrywide vaccination programme initiated years back, experts feel. For containing and preventing spread of FMDs, the Centre had been allocating around Rs 300 crore annually for the intensive FMD Control Programme till the last fiscal.
According to the latest data, against the requirement of 1,780 lakh doses for FMD in 2015-16, only 684 lakh doses of vaccines have been procured in the first round so far. Uttar Pradesh, which procured 835 lakh doses for FMD last year, is expected to procure 450 lakh doses in the first phase. “This suggests very poor vaccination coverage,” an official with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) said.
Bihar, which procured 170 lakh doses last year, is set to procure 178 lakh doses for phase-1 as the process was delayed because of assembly elections. Punjab which had purchased 140 lakh doses last year, there has been delay in procurement of FMD vaccines.
However, there has been reasonable progress in FMD vaccine procurement for phase-1 in Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala this fiscal, an NDDB analysis noted.
For the last many years, the central government has initiated an intensive FMD Control Programme spread across 351 districts in states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Rajasthan and Bihar.
In a recent communication to the states, the department of animal husbandry has stated that keeping in view the recommendations of the 14th finance commission due to increased financial devolution to the states, the government is considering to change the funding pattern of CSS to 50% (centre):50% (state).
“Till such a decision on finalisation of sharing pattern is taken by the government, the release of funds will be on the basis of 50:50 sharing pattern in 2015-16,” the communication stated. In current fiscal an amount of around R150 crore had been allocated under FMD programme as central allocation while matching grant has to be given by the states.
“Any vaccination programme has to be supported by Centre entirely otherwise the vaccination would not cover the entire animal population across states thus making them prone to FMD and other dieases,” T Nanda Kumar, chairman, NDDB told FE. Kumar said that the states have to find resources for carrying out these vaccination and each state has to float tender for vaccination medicine separately.