Ensure full use of funds for schemes, house panel tells MIB

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) needs to “make earnest efforts to bring improvement in their overall performance and ensure full utilization of funds provided for various schemes”, a Parliamentary Committee has said.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, which also examines issues relating to MIB has said that it “would like to be specifically apprised of the improvement effected as a result of policy shift in allocation of funds in the current year”.

The committee which examined the demands for grants for the year 2017-18 noted that this was particularly important “considering the fact that the Ministry is mandated to have a wide outreach to various sections of society”.

It noted that as far as utilisation for the year 2016-17 is concerned, the actual expenditure of the Ministry stands at Rs 539.04 billion till 6 February 2017 as against the revised estimates of Rs 860 billion. Thus, the committee noted that, while on the one hand, the Ministry is unable to utilise the budgetary allocations, it has cited want of funds as reason for slow pace of implementation of the Plan schemes.

The Budget (2017-18) of the Ministry shows that an amount of Rs 440.9 billion has been allocated to the Ministry that is 5.96 per cent higher than the last year’s budget allocation of Rs 408.363 billion.

With the abolition of plan and non-plan classification from financial year 2017-18, the allocation has been made under revenue and capital section, which is further classified into three categories, namely, (a) establishment expenditure of the Centre, (b) central sector schemes and (c) other central expenditure, including those in central public sector enterprises and autonomous bodies.

Out of the budgetary allocation of Rs 440.9 billion during the year 2017-18, Rs 495.74 billion has been earmarked for establishment expenditure of the centre; Rs 840 billion is for central sector schemes and Rs 307.326 billion is for other central expenditure, including those in central public sector enterprises and autonomous bodies.

There is a change in the Internal and Extra Budgetary Resource (IEBR) for new development scheme of Prasar Bharati approved by the erstwhile Planning Commission (now revamped as Niti Ayog) for the Twelfth Plan Period (2012-2017).

The sectoral allocation of the Ministry shows that Rs 4.53 billion has been allocated to the broadcasting sector of which Rs 4.3 billion is meant for Prasar Bharati. An allocation of Rs 1.8 billion has been made to information sector, which is less than the RE allocation of Rs. 2.5638 billion made in the last year.

This year the government intends to spend a total amount of Rs 2.07 billion on film sector, up from Rs 1.4148 billion last year. There are three schemes for which the allocation has been increased substantially:

1: The budgetary allocation has been increased from Rs 70 million in budget estimates 2016-17 to Rs 220 million in BE 2017-18, under the sub-scheme “infrastructure development in Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute of India” of the scheme “infrastructure development programme relating to film sector”.

2: The budgetary allocation has been increased from Rs 51 million in BE 2016-17 to Rs 600 million in BE 2017-18 under the scheme of setting up a Centre of Excellence for Animation, Gaming and VFX (Main Secretariat)” and

3: The budgetary allocation has been increased from Rs 300 million in BE 2016-17 to Rs 500 million in BE 2017-18 under the Scheme of “National Film Heritage Mission” to restore and preserve India’s rich cinematic resources.

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