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A parliamentary panel has taken a "very serious view" of under-utilisation of funds in the Home Ministry saying it has surrendered huge amount of money which is nothing but indicator of "underperformance". The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its latest report made this observation with respect to the Plan schemes of the Home Ministry throughout the 12th Plan (2012-17). "Almost every year, several important divisions of the Home Ministry, including border management, disaster management, Police-I, Police-II and Internal Security-I Divisions have surrendered huge amounts of funds at Revised Estimate (RE) stage," it said. In some cases, the panel said, the surrendered funds were to tune of 50 per cent and above, which is a clear indication of incoherent planning, lack of conviction and inefficient functioning of the divisions concerned. The committee said in most of the schemes wherein funds were surrendered, the reasons given by the ministry were mostly related to non-finalisation of proposals, slow progress of construction works and procedural delays. "The committee expresses its displeasure in the strongest terms on this issue and observes that surrendering of funds at RE stage may be seen as a clear measure of inefficiency of any unrealistic budgeting by the divisions concerned as this has direct ramifications on the country's security and law and order situation," it said. The panel said some divisions in the Home Ministry were unable to completely utilise the funds even after the substantial cuts at RE stages imposed by the Ministry of Finance. "The committee feels that this is quite inexcusable as failure to absorb the funds even after surrendering nearly 40-60 per cent of the budgetary allocations at RE stage in an indicator of underperformance." The committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs must explore innovative solutions, prepare flexible and workable action plans, consistently meet all deadlines and develop strategic alternatives wherever the current strategy may not yield the intended results so as to achieve the desired physical and financial targets, it said.
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