A parliamentary standing committee has slammed the research wing of the union health ministry for failing to spend its allocated budget and complete pending schemes.
The standing committee of the Rajya Sabha on health also said that the state of affairs indicates that the department of health research was consistently over-estimating its requirements and has not been able to make use of scarce financial resources.
The committee, headed by Bahujan Samaj Party Rajya Sabha member Satish Mishra, observed that this was a clear case of lack of foresight and faulty planning by the department.
"On the one hand, the department claims that significant progress has been made in respect of schemes while on the other, the committee notes that only a meagre amount of expenditure of Rs.179.36 crore has been done as against an allocation of Rs.5,213 crore for the schemes for the 12th plan period," the report submitted by the committee said.
The committee also came down heavily for delays in formulation of all schemes even though they got in-principle approval by the planning commission long back.
"The committee would like to be apprised of the steps being taken or proposed to be taken to arrest this trend of under-utilization of budgeted funds, which eventually led to massive cuts," it said.
The standing committee, however, had a word of praise for the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), also under the department of health research, for "near optimum" utilization of funds.