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Increase funds to ICMR for robust research: Par panel

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A parliamentary panel has sought increased fund allocation to the (ICMR) as it fears that a funds crunch will adversely affect the research activities and development of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in the country.

The panel, in its 106th report on Demands for Grants 2018-19 for the department of health, extended its support to the department's demand for additional funds to the tune of Rs 350 crore. The department had cited less allocation of funds to the ICMR against its projected allocation.

The committee emphasised that the ICMR being the only of research activities needed to be promoted and encouraged so that tangible outcomes are witnessed for various care challenges.

"The committee would like to urge upon the Ministry of Finance to increase the budgetary allocation to the Department of Research so that the latter is able to ensure continuity in critical health research," the report said.

ICMR is an apex organisation to formulate, conduct, coordinate and promote biomedical research. It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world funded by the

The council's research priorities coincide with the national health programmes such as control and management of communicable diseases, fertility control, maternal and child health and control of

The parliamentary panel also recommended the health department to formulate a comprehensive action plan while projecting its funds requirement before the and observed that constraints of funds should not come in the way of the medical research.

The committee said that the has not been effective in persuading the for seeking required funds and therefore, the additional funds are received at the fag end of the financial year.

It recommended that the health department be more proactive in holding pre-budget discussions and forwarding the proposals for supplementary grant in order to ensure that the funds are released well in advance.

The panel also flagged under-utilisation of funds with respect to certain schemes like development of tools to prevent outbreak of (33.20 per cent), Human Resource Development for Health Research (53.15 per cent), (ICMR) (69.68 per cent) among others.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 15:16 IST