Parliamentary panel pulls up planning ministry for not using funds fully

New Delhi: Flowers bloom at Parliament during the ongoing Budget Session, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

A parliamentary panel has pulled up the Ministry of Planning for under-utilisation of funds in important areas and also flagged the issue of vacant positions in government think-tank Niti Aayog.

The Standing Committee on Finance, headed by Jayant Sinha, in a report noted that a scrutiny of the budget of the Ministry of Planning reveals under-utilisation of funds in important areas.

The budget estimates (BE) for the ministry for the year 2020-21 stand at Rs 650 crore.

According to the report, under the head Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), out of allocated funds of Rs 11 crore for 2019-20, only Rs 6.18 crore was utilised till December 2019, which is 56.18 per cent of the total allocation.

Similarly, for Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), out of the allocated funds of Rs 120 crore, only Rs 61 crore was utilised, which is 50.83 per cent of allocation.

The committee said it is constrained to note that even after four years of the constitution of DMEO, which comes under the Niti Aayog, more than 100 positions are vacant out of the sanctioned strength of 157.

Noting that a large number of private professionals and consultant firms are being engaged by the ministry, especially for evaluation of schemes, the report said "the Committee expect that the qualifications are well laid down and recruitment are done in a transparent manner and open tendering process be followed for engaging the consultant firms."

Appreciating Niti Aayog for bringing out SDG India Index 2019 covering all SDGs, the panel said it would like to recommend the ministry to consider options of bringing out a similar index taking districts as the base.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel