Ministries save 40 pet projects from gallows

Ministries save 40 pet projects from gallows
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First Published: Wed, Mar 07 2007. 12 11 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 07 2007. 12 11 AM IST
 
Funding for several of the 113 Central government projects that were facing the axe, has been revived. The schemes that are off the list of projects proposed to be discontinued are from 14 ministries, including agriculture, coal, commerce, public enterprises, education, textiles, information and broadcasting, youth affairs and culture.
The revived projects include one to modernize the patent office, a project to revamp the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and one to promote exports through film festivals. The concerned departments had lobbied the Planning Commission to continue funding to these programmes and were eventually able to give a fresh lease of life to 40 of the projects. These schemes are worth Rs934.26 crore.
Six months ago, the Planning Commission had recommended that 113 schemes be dropped by the ministries and departments running them. It was part of an ongoing effort by the commission to weed out Central schemes that have lost their relevance over time.
The commerce ministry’s Footwear Design and Development Institute, an export promotion studies scheme by the ministry of textiles, and a pilot project on solid-waste management near airports under the urban development ministry, are all set to be revived. The biggest scheme slated to stay is the Rs550-crore technology upgradation fund (Tufs) under textiles ministry.
A programme to restructure public sector enterprises under the department of heavy industries, which was facing discontinuation, has also been revived. This project is worth Rs87.82 crore, according to Budget estimates for 2006-07.
The government’s decision to continue with these projects was mentioned in a written reply to the Lok Sabha by the minister of state for planning, M.V. Rajasekharan, on 3 March. The reply also said: “The zero-based budgeting exercise would be continued further during the formulation of 11th Plan, in consultation with ministries and departments.”
Speaking to Mint, an official of the Planning Commission said: “These bodies were referred for closure, but after consultations with relevant ministries they were slotted for continuation.” The Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts under the ministry of culture, and the National Institute of Fashion Technology under the ministry of textiles, have also been retained.
(pragya.s@livemint.com)
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First Published: Wed, Mar 07 2007. 12 11 AM IST