Saturday, April 7, 2012

Utilization Certificates not submitted

Union Health Ministry writes to State Health Department
Utilization Certificates not submitted despite several reminders, meetings, telephonic calls

Though Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been providing liberal financial assistance to the State Health Department through various Centrally Sponsored schemes, the latter has failed to submit Utilization Certificates thereby hampering actual implementation of many of these flagship programmes. 

This has happened despite the fact that senior officials of the Union Health Ministry have sent several reminders to the top officials of the State Health Department through a number of letters. 

Expressing its displeasure over the state of affairs of Health Department in the State the Union Ministry officials have categorically stated that the issue of pending Utilization certificates pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir State hadn't been resolved despite several meetings. 

"Despite regularly correspondences followed by several reminders, meetings with the State Government officials and telephonic conversations, etc. the issue of pending Utilization Certificates in respect of your State has not been resolved", says a communication sent by Union Ministry vide D.O No. V.15011/18/2010-PH- I(Pt.), which is in possession of Jk News. 

These observations had been made by the officials while referring non-seriousness on part of State officials, in implementation of National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) --- a special program, which had been launched by the Government of India keeping in view the heavy burden of mental illness in the community, and the absolute inadequacy of mental health care infrastructure in the country to deal with it. 

The official communication written by Joint Secretary, Sujaya Krishnan of the Health Ministry, which had been addressed to the Commissioner cum Secretary (Health), Health and Medical Education Department stated, "a copy of the fact sheet containing details of various schemes of NMHP under implementation in your State is enclosed for your reference. However, the Utilization certificates have not been issued in respect of the above mentioned funds, which is hampering the implementation of the programme in your State due to non release of further installments of funds". 

"May I therefore request your personal intervention in the matter of submission of Utilization Certificates and Audited Statement of account in respect of funds released under various schemes of NMHP so that the Utilization Certificates can be issued by this Ministry and further installment of funds could be released for implementation of the National Mental Health Programme in your State", the letter said. 

Official sources while corroborating the delay in the submission of Utilization Certificates said this had happened despite the fact that the Union Ministry officials have given clear directions to the State Health Department to utilize the funds strictly as per the provisions of the scheme communicated to them from time to time and submit the required Certificates. 

The gravity of situation can be gauged from the fact that State Health Department hasn't provided Utilization Certificates of even the grant released for the implementation of District Mental Health Programme in the State during the financial year 2004-05. In this year, the Union Health Ministry had released nearly 26 lacs to Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri and Udhampur districts each with the objective of implementation of this programme in J&K.

In a recent communication vide letter no. F. No. V.15016/18/2010-PH-1, the Union Health Ministry has written to Principal Secretary (Health) & Mission Director (NRHM) while directing them to expedite the submission of year-wise Utilization Certificates (duly certified by the State Nodal Officer) as per the proforma and the Audited Statement of Accounts upto financial year 2009-10 starting from the year, when the first installments of funds was released in respect of the above districts along with the information regarding expenditure incurred till date. 

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