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India: Government Likely to Reduce Number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes to 59 in Budget
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Source Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Country: India
Created: Jan 21, 2013

NEW DELHI: To streamline expenditure, the government is likely to reduce the number of centrally sponsored schemes from 147 to 59 in the next Budget in line with recommendations of B K Chaturvedi Committee.

"The committee headed by Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi has suggested that the number of CSS should be reduced from 147 to 59. It is being considered by the government," a source privy to the development said.

With a view to streamlining public expenditure and improving efficiency, the panel has also recommended changes in the fiscal norms and normal central assistance, besides suggesting classification of such schemes into flagship, sub-sectoral and umbrella schemes.

The committee has suggested that schemes with less than Rs 100 crore annual outlay should be weeded out.

The centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) are referred to various schemes of the central government which are operated with a view to achieve social objectives like poverty reduction, improving health services and raising food production.

The states, it said, should be provided greater flexibility in utilisation of funds and implementation of schemes. It would help states to modify the schemes to suit their specific needs.

The suggestions include review of financial norms of all centrally sponsored schemes once in two years and independent evaluation and monitoring of these schemes.

As per the report, the first category flagship schemes should include programmes in sectors like education, health, irrigation, urban development infrastructure, rural infrastructure, skill development and employment.

In the second category, major sub-sectoral schemes to address developmental problems of sub-sectors of major sectors like agriculture, education and health should be included.

The third category would have umbrella schemes which seek to address the sectoral gaps to help improve effectiveness of Plan expenditure.
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