Observing that the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry might not have made "realistic projections" on requirement of funds for its various schemes, a parliamentary panel has asked the ministry to "project its needs realistically and convincingly" for higher budgetary allocation.
The Standing Committee on Urban Development, in its report on 'Demands for Grants (2018-19)' tabled in Parliament today, said it observed that budgetary allocation of Rs 41,765.13 crore made for the ministry in 2018-19 stands at only 1.71 per cent of the total central government outlay of over Rs 24.42 lakh crore, while it was 1.88 per cent in 2017-18 fiscal.
"The committee is surprised to note that though most of the flagship programmes of the government... are under the ministry, the percentage share given to the ministry remains around an average of 1.59 per cent since 2014-15 and no substantial increase is given despite mandated to implement some of the highly ambitious missions," it said.
The Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry is implementing various flagship schemes of the government, including Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
The panel noted that the allocations made over the years to the ministry was not even half of what was proposed by it.
The committee said it was seen that in 2018-19, against a proposal of Rs 86,099.97 crore, only Rs 41,765.13 crore was granted -- 48.50 per cent -- whereas it was 43.73 per cent in 2017-18.
"The committee fails to understand how the ministry would be able to achieve the targets with less than 50 per cent of the allocation sought by them for the same. It also feel that, may be, the ministry has not made realistic projections or proper planning," it said.
"The committee also fails to understand how the ministry manages with approximately the same budget grants before and after the launch of these flagship programmes and especially in 2018-19 as most of the projects have really picked up their momentum now," the report stated.
With the sort of missions entrusted with the ministry, the panel said it was convinced that a better share of the central budget is required to do justice to the mandated schemes and programmes.
"It, therefore recommends that the ministry should make all out efforts to project its needs realistically and convincingly before the Finance Ministry/NITI Ayog and impress upon them to allocate a better share to take the country towards 'a Clean and Swachh Bharat' that are Smart with 'Houses for All'," the panel said.
The committee also desired that the ministry should "pursue vigorously" for additional funds at the revised estimate stage so as to implement its programmes without any fund crunch.
At the same time, the available funds and resources should be effectively and entirely utilised for the purpose/objective for which they have been granted, it said.
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