More than half of the funds not used for POSHAN Abhiyaan: NITI Aayog report
The fourth progress report released by NITI Aayog highlighted that less than half the amount set aside for POSHAN Abhiyaan has been used by the states of India.
What is Nutrition Campaign?
The Government of India launched its flagship program POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Comprehensive Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) campaign in 2018 to draw national attention and take action against malnutrition in a mission-mode. POSHAN Abhiyaan is the flagship program of the Government of India to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers and adolescents.
Objectives of the fourth progress report of POSHAN Abhiyaan
(1) Check the progress so far on launching all POSHAN Abhiyaan interventions using relevant data.
(2) Discuss the importance of maintaining progress on the nutrition agenda in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(3) To recommend major actions to accelerate progress towards India’s nutrition goals.
In the report, 5 key elements of “Poshan Abhiyaan Yojana” are listed
(1) Deliver a high-impact package of interventions in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
(2) Strengthening the delivery of these interventions through technology and management.
(3) Improving the capacity of frontline workers.
(4) Facilitating cross-sectoral convergence to address the multidimensional nature of malnutrition.
(5) Increase behavior change and community engagement.
Main findings of the report
States and Union Territories (UTs) with poor distribution of mobile phones and development monitoring tools have emerged as those with low fund utilization. The three-year budget of the scheme from 2017-18 onwards is Rs 9,046.17 crore. More than half of the funds (60 per cent) remained unutilized as on March 31, 2020.
Only three states had utilized more than 50 per cent of their POSHAN Abhiyaan funds between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. It improved marginally to 12 between 2017-2019 and FY 2019-2020. Nagaland (87 per cent), Meghalaya (78 per cent), Sikkim (71 per cent), Mizoram (67 per cent) and Lakshadweep (65 per cent) had utilized the maximum proportion of funds by the end of 2019-2020.