A Parliamentary Standing Committee has in its latest report flagged that funds allocated for the central government’s mid-day meal scheme PM-Poshan and and elementary education programme Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan were being underutilised.

The report prepared by the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports was uploaded on the Rajya Sabha website on Thursday.

The committee, chaired by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe, noted that as of January 31, only Rs 16,821.70 crore (55%) of the Rs 37,383.36 crore allocated in this year’s Budget for the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, had been utilised.

For the PM-Poshan scheme, only Rs 6,660.54 crore (57.91%) had been utilised till January 31, out of the total allocation of Rs 11,500 crore, according to the report.

The committee has said that underutilisation of funds is “unacceptable” and has recommended that the Centre should identify the reasons for that.

“...Taking note of the figures, it is evident that expenditure towards the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and the Central Sector Schemes has not been done in a progressive manner,” the report stated.

The committee has also recommended that more schools be opened in the hilly northern and northeastern regions where the terrain and other resource-related difficulties preventing children from taking admissions.