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Par panel pulls up govt for slashing funds for crucial projs

Tue, 03rd May 2016 (Source:Times of India)

 A Parliamentary panel has pulled up the government for curtailing the expenses for crucial projects while funding initiatives like 'Make in India'.

"The committee is constrained to observe that allocations to many crucial projects were slashed in the year 2015-16 in view of funding ambitious projects like Make in India initiative," Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce said in its report.

However, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) could only utilise 40 per cent of the budget estimate for the initiative till December 2015.

The committee "strongly feels that the department should have been pro-active over timely utilisation of the funds available in the most effective manner", it said.

It also said that an expenditure to the tune of 40 per cent under the scheme for investment promotion for Make in India till December 2015 reflects lack of imagination and preparation of blueprint to promote India as an investment destination.

Further, the report said that Make in India campaign has devoted Rs 284 crore for expenditure under the minor head advertisement and publicity.

However, the work being done under this allocation is primarily business promotion through investor outreach programmes, it said.

The committee, it said, is of the view that these investor outreach programmes being conducted with the help of Indian Embassies/Missions or with the help of the professional agencies to target investor is separate from advertising and publicity.

"The committee feels that an allocation of Rs 200 crore and more under the head 'Business Promotion/Investor Outreach Programme' makes more sense than maintaining it under the head 'Advertisement and Publicity'," it added.

On ease of doing business, the report said against a target to integrate 6 central government services, only 3 new central government services could be integrated in 2015-16.

Similarly, against a target to roll-out state government services in the remaining pilot states of Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal some headway could be made only in state services of Andhra Pradesh (14 services), Delhi (2 services) and Odisha (14 services).

It expressed concern over the slow progress in pilot project level where 50 services have been targeted for implementation.

"With this pace of implementation, the committee wonders about the time that may go in making the project fully functional with integration of more than 200 services on the e-Biz portal," it added.

The committee strongly recommends that the pace of the project should be quickened to improve the business and regulatory environment of the country. 

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