In order to improve financial management and accelerate government reforms, the Ministry of AYUSH on Thursday, rolled out a set of initiatives with two thrust areas -- the government schemes (both central sector and centrally sponsored) and the autonomous bodies of the ministry.
The road-map to this set of initiatives were laid down by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (AYUSH) and Dharmendra Singh Gangwar, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in a high-level meeting in the ministry held in September 2020. "Drawing up the list of financial and governance reforms and designing programme/schemes to ensure that fund flow is reached to Project Implementation Agency in a seamless and direct manner are among the groundwork activities identified by the Ministry. These will be supplemented with the timely release of funds to state governments with matching shares and pre-defined triggers so that there is no parking of funds at any level," stated an official statement.
These initiatives serve to nullify some of the frequently observed bottlenecks that delay government projects.
According to the official statement, an immediate impact of this initiative was the increased adoption of the Public Financial Management System, the modern and speedy accounts management system of the government, by the autonomous bodies (ABs) and schemes units of the ministry.
"The practice of the ABs entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of AYUSH with performance targets has also been adopted and implemented. These MoUs will help to align the outcomes of the ABs with the goals and objectives of the ministry, and to eliminate overlaps and wastages of efforts and resources," the official statement said.
In order to pre-empt leakage and increase speed, all payments like stipends to students will be through electronic mode, on the Direct Benefit Transfer platforms.
The ministry is also planning to introduce third-party evaluation of all government schemes, which will be carried out in November.
Considering that the National Ayush Mission (NAM) is a flagship project with a country-wide impact on the promotion of AYUSH systems, special efforts will be taken to streamline its operations.
"Steps are initiated to develop a portal, on the lines by N-FAMS (NHM Financial Accounting Management System) for National AYUSH Mission - March 2021. It was also decided to develop a dashboard for real-time monitoring of the flow of funds," the official statement read.