Ayush failed to utilise cluster fund in last five year plan

The Parliamentary panel also said : “In a vast country like India, there should be at least one Ayush industry cluster in each state”.

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi

The plans to set up common Ayush clusters in every State during the current five year plan may not get required support from the Planning Commission with the Department failing to utilise fully the amount sanctioned for the last five year plan.

The department, which sought Rs.505 crore during the last Plan period for supporting development of common facilities for Ayush industry clusters and for providing incentives to industry for participation in fairs and conduct of market studies, is looking for Rs.1010.50 crore for spanning out the scheme during the 12th Plan term, sources said.

Initially the plan outlay Rs.500 crore for the Development of Ayush Industry Cluster was projected. However, only Rs.100 crore was finally sanctioned for setting up 10 clusters during the five year period. Accordingly the department has sanctioned 09 projects with total outlay of Rs.83.71 crore excluding professional fees. Rs.50.49 crore have been released so far to sanction 09 projects as first, second and third installment of grant-in-aid.

Further, the Planning Commission had also reduced outlay of Rs.130 crore for Development of Ayush Industry Cluster scheme, sources said.

Notwithstanding the fall in utilization, the Department had projected Rs.1010 crore to expand the scheme. But, the Planning Commission is unlikely to sanction the amount projected. According to the projections, the department may get double the amount it was able to spend during the last five year period.

The Parliamentary panel attached to the Health Ministry had come down heavily on the under-utilisation of the fund. “The Committee observes that very important and essential activities were contemplated to be undertaken under the Scheme.

However, the fact that till date only nine Ayush clusters have been established and the expenditure incurred till February 2012 is Rs.50.49 crore only against the Eleventh Plan outlay of Rs.500 crore is indicative of very sorry state of affairs,” the panel said. 

“In a vast country like India, there should be at least one Ayush industry cluster in each state. The Committee accordingly exhorts the Department to demonstrate greater prudence in budgetary planning in future so as to avoid such instances of blockage of huge amount of funds as also to redesign the scheme to facilitate development of common facilities for Ayush industry clusters in each State of the country,” the panel said. [Source]

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