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Parl panel flags poor fund usage by PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infra Mission

The committee in its report stated that the scheme was allocated Rs 690.00 crore in budget estimates 2022-23, which was reduced to Rs 378.27 crore in the revised estimated 2023-24

Ayushman Bharat, Doctor

Representative Image

Press Trust of India New Delhi
The PM-Ayushman Bharat Health infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) has turned out to be a major laggard in the financial year 2022-23 based on the expenditure of the fund allocated to the scheme, a parliamentary committee has observed.
In its 144th report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare highlighted that the department has been able to utilise just about 20 per cent of its budget estimates allocation.
It said 2021-22 is the second year of the implementation of the PM-ABHIM scheme.
"Considering that the scheme has a fixed timeline for completion, the committee is surprised that the activities under the scheme have not moved beyond nascent stages of implementation," the report said.
The committee in its report stated that the scheme was allocated Rs 690.00 crore in budget estimates 2022-23, which was reduced to Rs 378.27 crore in the revised estimated 2023-24.
Again out of this reduced budget, the department has only been able to spend Rs 135.56 crore till date i.e. fund to the tune of Rs 242.71 crore still remains unused.
The committee stated that the department should have done the preparatory work viz. exploring expenditure avenues of the new scheme well in advance so that funds allocated do not remain unutilised.
The committee further noted that period of PM-ABHIM scheme is from 2021-22 to 2025-26 only and DHR/ICMR has a major role in implementing scheme's key components like biosecurity preparedness, establishment of integrated public health laboratories in all 730 districts, setting up of a national institution for One Health, four new National Institutes for Virology, a regional research platform for WHO South East Asia region and nine biosafety level III laboratories.
The committee thus recommended the department to address the shortcomings and bottlenecks which are hampering the smooth implementation of projects undertaken by it under the PM-ABHIM scheme.
"With only three years left in the period of the scheme, the department cannot afford to miss deadlines of completion of its projects otherwise it will not only lead to loss of precious money but also affect deadlines of other prospective projects," the report said.
The committee noted that all the critical projects viz. Institute for one Health, Nagpur, four regional NIVs, and Regional Research Platform for WHO South East Asia 8 Region under the PM-ABHIM are yet to see the light of the day.
It views the shift in location of NIV from Chandigarh to Jammu as a lack of coordination between the department and state government and feels that such last minute changes only cause unnecessary delay in the projects and in that turn procrastinate the completion of the other associated projects.
It recommended the department to finish the tendering process at the earliest and begin the civil construction work so as to adhere to the deadline of finishing the projects within 15 months.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 20 2023 | 11:26 PM IST

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