New Delhi: A Group of Ministers, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, today approved merging of 147 Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) into 70 across various sectors for efficient implementation and monitoring in the 12th Five Year Plan.
"The GoM on Restructuring of CSS has decided to converge 147 central schemes into 70 for better monitoring and implementation in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17)," a highly placed source said.
It has approved setting up of a flexi-funds system in each scheme, under which state governments can use 10 per cent of the Budget allocated for CSS within the broader framework of the flagship programme.
For better utilisation of funds under CSS, the panel of ministers approved transferring of funds from the central government to the state consolidated funds and not directly to the implementing agencies.
That apart, the panel has approved setting up of state specific guidelines in each central sponsored schemes.
The GoM decisions are in line with the recommendations of the Chaturvedi committee, which had suggested bringing down CSS to 59 from 147 to avoid overlap.
The decisions taken in the GoM meeting would be placed before the Cabinet soon for approval, the source said.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia were among others present in the meeting.
The GoM on restructuring of CSS was constituted to iron out differences among ministries like the Agriculture and Tribal Affairs, which wanted to maintain some of the schemes for development of the sector.
Sources said that the differences have been sorted out in the GoM meeting. "That's why the number of schemes to be merged have been kept to 70 schemes, as against the Chaturvedi Committee's suggestion of 59 schemes."
Concerned over proliferation of CSS, Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his Budget speech had announced that "the schemes will be restructured into 70 schemes. Each scheme will be reviewed once in two years".
First Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 16:10