Where have Rs4,900 crore of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds gone in Uttar Pradesh?
The state government says it spent the amount to strengthen rural health services but failed to corroborate with bills and vouchers when the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) conducted a performance audit of NRHM’s implementation from 2005 to 2011.The CAG audit found gross irregularities and mismanagement of NRHM funds. There was no monitoring or evaluation by the state government and its internal audit mechanism had become defunct. The principal secretary (health and family welfare) and DG (health and family welfare) did not examine the NRHM records.
“Funds released for the construction and renovation of hospitals and buying medicines and instruments were misappropriated,” an officer said.
The CAG report was presented to the Governor on Friday. The CAG observed that despite Uttar Pradesh getting the maximum chunk of NRHM funds, its health indicators were poor. The maternal mortality rate was the highest in the country and the infant mortality and total fertility rates the second highest.
The state’s expenditure on NRHM between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2011 was Rs8657.35 crore. But the accounts of the State Health Society (SHS) didn’t give a fair representation of how the money was used.
For example, a difference of Rs358 crore was noticed between the receipt of funds from the Centre and that acknowledged by SHS. Rs1768.12 crore received through the treasury route was not reflected in the SHS accounts.
The Samajwadi Party was in power when NRHM was launched in the state in 2005. The BSP took over in 2007.