New Delhi: The government has asked the independent evaluation office (IEO) to study the government’s health insurance scheme, its director general said on Wednesday.

The IEO, announced in 2009, was inaugurated on Wednesday.

The cabinet has decided the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (national health insurance scheme) will be evaluated by IEO, director general Ajay Chhibber told reporters at the inauguration.

The health insurance scheme was expanded to cover a larger number of the poor in June.

The IEO has begun studying the public distribution system (PDS) and neo-natal and maternal mortality, Chhibber said.

He said the agency was also working towards developing a regular evaluation of major health, education and livelihood schemes of the government, similar to the Annual Status of Education Report produced by the non-governmental organization Pratham.

Chhibber said the structure of the IEO, which is attached to the Planning Commission, will be examined once it completes its existing studies.

The first part of the study on the PDS would be submitted online and in Parliament by June-July, Chhibber said.

“Building a state capacity index would also be important," Chhibber said, referring to variations in the quality of implementation of government programmes across states.

Part of the problem is that allocations do not reflect local needs, said Yamini Iyer of the accountability initiative at Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research.

Chhibber’s remarks came a day after Congress party president Sonia Gandhi blamed state governments for not implementing central government projects well.

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