Parliamentary Panel Expresses Regret at “Extremely Poor Utilization of Funds” for Development of Skills and Entrepreneurship

ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship

The role of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, has become very important in the context of the challenge of increasing employment opportunities and improving quality of employment for young aspirants. If taken up properly, a lot of the work of this ministry can give much hope to youth in difficult times of high levels of unemployment. However in the first 10 months of the financial year 2022-23(to be more precise 10 months and one week, up to February 8, 2023), only 23 per cent of the originally allocated funds of this Ministry ( INR 691 crore out of INR 2999 crore) were actually spent, indicating clearly a very low rate of utilization.

The Standing Parliamentary Committee on Labor, Textiles and Skill Development has drawn attention to what it has called “extremely poor utilization of funds” in its recently submitted report ( 43rd report, 17th Lok Sabha, report on the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship). The Parliamentary Panel also questioned officials regarding the reason for such a low utilization and the concerned officials have of course explained their reasons and problems. However after all it is for the experienced and skilled officials to find out the solutions for these problems and fulfill their responsibility of ensuring the proper utilization of funds which is so important for meeting the big development challenges facing the country.

This report has also provided details for fund utilization in the context of various specific schemes, or rather sub-schemes of the wider Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

In the case of Development of Skills, a sum of INR 1643 crore was allocated ( Budget Estimate or BE), but actual expenditure during the first 10 months was only INR 121 crore. In other words only 7 per cent of the announced Budget Estimate funds were utilized for so important a task. This is clearly a very low utilization, and very unfortunate considering the importance of this work.

In the case of Development of Entrepreneurship the Budget Estimate was INR 50 crore but only INR 1.9 crore was actually spent, just a token sum as hardly anything can be achieved for less than 2 crore at national level. Thus fund utilization in the first 10 months was less than 4 per cent for such an important task. Again this is very unfortunate as the objective of development of entrepreneurship, if pursued properly, can be so important for meeting several development challenges.

Then there is the scheme of Strengthening of Infrastructure for Institutional Training. For this a sum of INR 110 crore was allocated but only INR 23 crore were actually spent in the first 10 months.

For Strengthening of Skill Institutions a sum of 20  crore was allocated but only INR 6.6 crore was spent.

For SANKALP scheme of skills and livelihoods INR 300 crore was sanctioned but only INR 100  crore was spent in 10 months.

For STRIVE scheme of skills and enhancement of industrial value a sum of INR 300 crore was allocated but only INR 66 crore were spent.

Clearly there is need for urgent remedial actions.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Man over Machine (Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi), When the Two Streams Met (freedom movement) and A Day in 2071.


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