COVID-19 pandemic has hit Keralaโ€™s Budget schemes, says CEMS report

Concurrent Evaluation and Monitoring of Schemes (CEMS) of the Finance Department carried out in 11 departments

Most of the schemes in the State, especially construction works under various departments, envisaged in the 2020-2021 Budget could not be completed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, reveals Concurrent Evaluation and Monitoring of Schemes (CEMS) of the Finance Department.

The CEMS, aimed at ascertaining real-time assessment of the progress and impact, areas of success and failure in implementation, analyse the reasons for success and failure and derive lessons for improvement and implementation, was carried out in 11 departments.

The schemes under Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Forest and Wildlife, Public Works, Water Resources, Higher Education, Kerala Maritime Board, Scheduled Castes Development, Scheduled Tribes Development, Animal Husbandry, Harbour Engineering and Fisheries Departments were subjected to scrutiny.

The economy of the State has been badly hit by the pandemic, says the CEMS report. Out of the 47 schemes, the Finance Budget Performance team has pointed out that one scheme each of the Higher Education Department and Scheduled Castes Department had not been implemented so far.

Demand and supply

After analysing the Rice Development Scheme, the Agriculture Department has been asked to increase the production of rice and reduce the gap between demand and supply. In the case of vegetables, the department has been asked to ensure fair price to the farmers and fresh vegetables to consumers and special care to crops in Kanthalloor and Vattavada in Idukki district.

In the Forest and Wildlife Department, the CEMS has found that works are being awarded in single tender and that estimates had been revised after completion of works. More funds have been suggested for the newly formed Kurinjimala sanctuary in Idukki district, hike in compensation to farmers suffering crop loss due to wild animals.

The Fisheries Department has been asked to take steps to assign market price for all varieties of fish, protect the biodiversity of indigenous ornamental fishes and coldwater fishes, promote prawn farming and insurance schemes on the lines of damages to crop of agriculture farmers.

Common utility duct

Pointing out the damages caused to BM and BC roads due to urgent road cuttings after completion of the works, the CEMS report has asked for introduction of a common utility duct for all service providers and to prevent road cutting. The Public Works Department has been asked to ensure land is handed over for road works first and to issue Administrative sanction for construction separately.

After analysing the Inland Canal scheme, a shift from road to inland water and a comprehensive inland water transport policy to stimulate the economy of the State and as a cost-effective environment-friendly alternative to road transport has been suggested.


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