780 blocks in 307 districts in India need basic health infrastructure development

NEW DELHI: An internal review of funds utilisation for welfare of scheduled castes has flagged the need to develop basic health infrastructure in 780 of the most backward blocks across 307 districts in the country.

The high-level review of funds utilisation under Allocation for Welfare of SCs (AWSC) was carried out by the ministry of social justice and empowerment. AWSC is a plan under which 37 central ministries are required to earmark 2-30% of their budget outlay for welfare schemes for the scheduled castes (SCs). The ministries are required to identify schemes and set aside funds scheme-wise for the different states. The social justice ministry has chosen 10 ministries, as per the maximum allocation under AWSC, to review how the allocation has been spent. These include ministries which have over Rs 1,000 crore in funds for welfare of SCs.

Statistics reveal that the health ministry has an allocation of Rs 8,300 crore under AWSC. Of this, Rs 1,862.59 crore, or 22.44%, has been sanctioned.

At a time when the country is battling a pandemic, only Rs 521.57 crore has been released, as per data shared by the social justice and empowerment ministry.

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