While 42 per cent of Indias children continue to suffer from malnutrition,the Ministry of Women and Child Development failed to spend a single paise of the Rs 430 crore allocated in 2011-12 for two projects dealing with malnutrition.
Rs 330 crore had been allocated under the World Bank ICDS IV project,and Rs 100 crore under the National Nutrition Mission.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD,in its report for the departments demands for grants,took serious exception to the neglect of the World Bank scheme,noting: The committee is constrained to note that this status seems to be continuing from 2010-11 because the allocated funds remained unspent in that year as well. The committee is surprised to observe that the element of urgency seems to be completely missing in the entire process. Comments of the Planning Commission asked for on 27.4.2011 could be received on 24.22.2011,that is after a gap of seven months. Thereafter it has taken another four months to hold the meeting of EFC on 22.3.2012 and the approval of the project continues to be anticipated. This,even though funds are already available and the scheme is meant to support ongoing efforts in the districts where child malnutrition burden is the highest.
Progress on the ICDS scheme,however,has been satisfactory. The ministry managed to spend only Rs 14,530 crore from its RE allocation of Rs 16,100 crore.
Among the other schemes where there was nil expenditure during the year are relief and rehabilitation of rape victims (140 crore),Rashtriya Mahila Kosh – it is supposed to provide micro loans to poor women (Rs 100 crore) – and Swayam Siddha (Rs 3 crore),an integrated scheme for women empowerment.