New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has criticised the Women and Child Development Ministry for under- utilisation of funds allotted to its various schemes.
In its 249th report submitted in Parliament, the Standing Committee on HRD chaired by Congress MP Oscar Fernandes said though the utilisation figure for funds alloted to the ministry in 2011-12 had increased, there were many schemes where allocations were under-utilised.
The Committee is constrained to observe that though the utilisation figure for funds allocated for the ministry for the year 2011-12 increased to Rs 15,604.44 crore with maximum utilisation indicated in the ICDS scheme, there were many schemes which witnessed a very low or even nil utilisation, the panel said.
Schemes like Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, Relief and Rehabilitation of Rape Victims, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, Hostels for Working Women were among those where fund utilisation was lagging.
The Standing Committee said the need of the hour was to identify the problem areas and also the completion of formalities with cooperation from state governments for the effective implementation of the woman and child-centric schemes.
It also encouraged the ministry to strengthen the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and observed that several aanganwadi centres (AWCs) in various states did not have basic facilities.
The panel said without proper infrastructural facilities in the aanganwadi centres, the ICDS scheme will only have a low success rate.
"The basic needs of the targeted beneficiaries of the scheme i.e., women and children have to be taken into consideration seriously so that they face no hurdles when they come to AWCs take benefits of the scheme," the panel said.