Health ministry seeks more funds for family planning in Budget even though 40% of last year’s corpus unused

The Union health ministry has sought more funds from the finance ministry for its family planning projects in this year’s budget even though 40 percent of corpus allocated for the purpose in last budget remains unused, according to a report in Mint.

As a result, a little more than 60 percent of the funds were utilised in the current financial year, according to the Financial Management Report 2016-17. At present, only 4 percent of Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) flexi-pool budget is earmarked for family planning.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

In some states, the funds utilisation was abysmally low. Uttar Pradesh which remains India’s largest populated province recorded lowest funds utilisation with 38 percent usage. Bihar came in at second where 48 percent of allocation was unused. In Chhattisgarh, highest 49 percent of corpus for family planning remained idle.

“Under National Health Mission (NHM), family planning is one of the major activities. The funds are approved activity-wise but are allocated and released to states pool-wise under NHM. Approvals are given on the higher side to improve the absorption capacity of the states,” Ashwini Kumar Choubey, minister of state for health told Lok Sabha last week.

Some north eastern states did well when it came to using funds for family planning as compared to other bigger states. Meghalaya saw 26 percent of funds unutilised, Manipur 35 percent and Sikkim 46 percent. The national capital of Delhi spent only 36 percent and Chandigarh 26 percent of the corpus.

For full coverage of Union Budget 2018, click  here.

Updated Date: Jan 14, 2018 22:53 PM

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