The Union Health Ministrys National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) wing has not approved various schemes under NRHM in West Bengal with the state health department having failed to provide utilisation certificates for the past three years 2009,2010,and 2011.
The letter (memo no. 10 (15)/2012-NRHM-1) was issued on May 30,2012,where they mentioned that out of the total resource envelope of Rs 1,420.87 crore,the administrative approval of the project implementation plan for West Bengal is conveyed for an amount of Rs 1128.49 crore with several schemes not being approved by the Centre.
One of the NRHM schemes that has not been cleared is the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) that involves blindness survey,screening,detection,treatment of retinopathy,community-based rehabilitation of irreversible blind by NGOs,survey for impact study and estimation of backlog of cataract patients in various blocks,gram panchayat-wise blindness screening camp for identification,supply for free spectacles,provision for providing phaco lens for poor patients.
The other schemes that have not been approved are Revised National Tuberculousis Programme like Management of State Health Society and District Health Society Remuneration.
Senior NRHM officials confirmed that as the state government failed to provide pending utilisation certificates,particularly in the three schemes,the Ministry has not approved the same.
It has been learnt that utilisation certificates are pending with various zilla parishads and that the health department has intimated the zilla parshad officials to provide the same at the earliest.
According to the figures collected from the department,there has been a decreasing trend of utilisation of NRHM funds.
For 2011-12,the Centre had sanctioned Rs 103.82 crore for construction of PHCs and BPHCs,but it was seen that the state spent a paltry Rs 14.23 crore during that period. The state now has an unspent balance of Rs 89.59 crore.
It was also found that a substantial portion of the infrastructure development could not be held within the stipulated period.
Even for two consecutive years,that is from December 2010 till December 2011,the fund utilisation under civil works has shown a decreasing trend. In 2011,it was found that only 13.71 per cent of the total amount was utilised.
Dilip Ghosh,mission director of NRHM,admitted they were in talks with NRHM Delhi for approval of these schemes.
We have to look for alternatives if the Centre does not approve our demand. A meeting is scheduled to be held on Delhi again on third week of June, said Ghosh.