CAG picks holes in implementation of AIIMS like institutions, government medical college ungradation schemes

According to CAG, the cost overrun was to the tune of Rs 2,928 crore, while the time overrun was about four to five years in various packages of six New AIIMS.

By Joe C Mathew  
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India audit has found that Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), a 15 year old scheme meant to set up All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) like institutions and upgradation of existing state government medical colleges/institutions (GMCIs) across the country has suffered from serious implementation issues during the 2003-17 period.

CAG's Performance Audit, placed in the Parliament on Tuesday, highlights inadequacies in planning and financial management coupled with poor contract management and execution of works as well as lack of synchronization and coordination of activities as the key issues that resulted in undue delays and cost overruns.

According to CAG, the cost overrun was to the tune of Rs 2,928 crore, while the time overrun was about four to five years in various packages of six New AIIMS. It said that 1,318 equipment having estimate cost of Rs 454 crore remained undelivered as on 31 March 2017 for periods up to 25 months from the due date of delivery. Shortage of faculty posts in different AIIMS ranged from 55 per cent to 83 per cent. Shortage of non-faculty posts ranged from 77 per cent to 97 per cent, the report said. As against the requirement of 960 beds in each of the six new AIIMS, only 152 to 546 beds were available during the period under review.

At the same time, the six new AIIMS were holding an un-utilised balance of funds of Rs 1,267.41 crore while Rs 393.53 crore for civil works and Rs 437.28 crore for procurement of equipment remained with the executing agencies, CAG observes.

In the case of upgrading the existing government medical colleges also, CAG estimates that 408 equipment costing Rs 71.25 crore were either not installed or installed with delay ranging from three to 90 months.

"The work of eight GMCIs of Phase-I and Phase-II was completed with delays ranging from eight months to about seven years. In five other GMCIs, work had not been completed even after delays which ranged from three months to over five years with respect to the scheduled completion dates. Further, none of the six GMCIs of Phase-III which were scheduled to be completed by March 2017had been completed," the report said.

One of the key drawbacks of the scheme, as highlighted by CAG was lack of proper planning.

"Ministry had not formulated any operational guidelines for PMSSY. Instead implementation was guided by instructions issued from time to time and decisions taken by the Project Management Committee (PMC) mostly on a case to case basis. This resulted in several ad hoc decisions being taken on various aspects," it said.

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