A parliamentary panel has pulled up the Health Ministry for “tardy” progress made towards setting up metro blood banks in Chennai and Delhi. It has also asked the ministry to “iron out” all hindrances at the earliest so that instances of blockage of funds earmarked for the scheme do not occur. The parliamentary committee noted that the ministry had made a provision of Rs 404 crore in Revised Estimate 2015-16 and Rs 404 crore in RE 2016-17 but nothing was spent leading to “idle parking” of the funds and eventual surrender of the entire budgeted scheme for both years.
“The surrendering of the budgeted funds is indicative of the fact that the department has not played its role as a facilitator well in implementing the scheme that has a significant bearing on improving the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) interventions.
“Also, at a time when the government is striving for fiscal consolidation, such ritualistic allocation which remains on paper only is unacceptable to the Committee.
“The committee recommends that all hindrances in establishing metro blood banks be ironed out early so that such instances of blockage of funds earmarked for the scheme do not occur,” the committee on demands for grants 2017-18 for department of health and family welfare said.
As per the information given in the annual report (2017-18 of the department), it is proposed to set up four state-of-the-art centres for excellence in transfusion medicine in Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
First phase of the project has been approved by the Health Minister for two such centres and the MoU is to be signed with respective state governments while the MoU with Tamil Nadu government has been signed to establish one such centre in Chennai, the report said.
“The committee is constrained to note the tardy progress made towards establishing metro blood banks in Chennai and Delhi,” the committee chaired by Ram Gopal Yadav said.