Standing Committee Report Summary
- The Standing Committee on External Affairs (Chairperson: Sh Ramesh Bais) submitted its report on ‘Assessment of the Working of Tribal Sub-Plan’ on January 3, 2019. The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) aims to bridge the gap between the Schedule Tribes (STs) and the general population with respect to all socio-economic development indicators in a time-bound manner. Key observations and recommendations of the Committee include:
- Allocation of Funds: The Committee noted that earlier, earmarking of funds towards TSP was done by the concerned Ministries against their Plan allocation. After the merger of Plan and non-Plan expenditure, the Ministry of Finance revised the rate of allocation of funds towards TSP in December 2017. Currently, there are 41 central Ministries implementing TSP through different schemes. The Committee noted that the allocation of funds towards TSP by various Ministries has been meagre after the merger of expenditure heads.
- The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (Ministry) should direct all Ministries to earmark funds according to the prescribed percentage allocation of their total scheme outlays. Further, it recommended that the Ministry ask the Department of Rural Development to allocate funds for its flagship Schemes like MGNREGA under TSP to ensure that benefits of these Schemes reach to tribal people. The Committee also recommended that the Ministry direct all Ministries to furnish a bi-annual statement regarding scheme-wise expenditure under TSP.
- Allocation of funds by states: The Committee noted that according to the guidelines for earmarking funds to states under TSP, the state governments are required to allocate funds out of their total plan outlays, in proportion to their tribal population. It noted that some States are not adhering to these guidelines. For example, in 2015-16 and 2016-17, Madhya Pradesh did not allocate funds as per the proportion of tribal population of these States. The Committee recommended that the Ministry pursue the matter with all states and ensure that funds towards TSP are earmarked as per the guidelines.
- Under-utilisation of allocation by states: The Committee observed that for the years 2015-16 and 2016-17, many state governments are not fully utilizing funds allocated to states under the TSP. The Committee recommended that the Ministry should monitor state-wise expenditure of TSP expenditure, particularly in the tribal dominated States, by holding meetings with secretary level officers of the state governments on quarterly basis.
- Shortfall in Health Centres: The Committee observed that there is a shortfall of 1,240 Primary Health Centres (PHCs), 273 Community Health Centres (CHCs) and 6,503 sub-Centres in Tribal areas as on March 31, 2017. The Committee were informed that Ministry has formulated a proposal to ensure adequate health infrastructure in 94 Scheduled Tribes-dominated districts, where tribal population is 50% or more. The Committee noted that 40 of these districts still do not adequate health infrastructure in the form of PHCs. The Committee recommended that the Ministry should ensure availability of facilities and doctors in PHCs and CHCs by giving regular advisories to the state governments and concerned Ministries.
- Data on beneficiaries: The Committee noted the Ministry did not have the data of the beneficiaries of various schemes implemented by different Ministries under TSP. It noted that the Ministry stated that the status of implementation of various projects and their outcome is maintained by the concerned Ministries of the state governments. The Committee recommended that the Ministry should develop a mechanism to collect data of performance of various schemes, for assessment of the success of TSP.
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