The Skill Development Ministry needs to improve its financial performance and prepare a proper action plan in the beginning of the financial year to spend the allocated funds, a Parliamentary panel has pointed out.

The panel said that in 2016-17, the Ministry was yet to spend ₹1,400 crore of the ₹2,173 crore (revised estimates) allocated for the year, as on February 15, 2017.

“It seems difficult to spend the balance amount…in the remaining 44 days,” said the 25th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, headed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, on demand for grants by the Ministry.

Expressing concern over poor fund utilisation by the Ministry, the report said: “till February 15, the Ministry could utilise only ₹865.18 crore.”

For 2017-18, the Ministry, which aims to skill/upskill 40 crore people in seven years, has been allocated ₹3,016.14 crore by the Finance Ministry. The Skill Development Ministry, in its presentation, assured the panel that a concept note was ready for approval for setting up the National Board of Skill Certification, and it was also speeding up the process of setting up a Regional Directorate of Apprenticeship Training.

On the revamped Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, which aims to train 1 million youth over four years, the panel said till February 2017, out of the annual target of 19.87 lakh people, 12.86 lakh persons were trained.

“Though the Ministry appears confident to achieve the target, the Committee is apprehensive in view of the fact cited by the Ministry that most of the training targets were allocated in November and December and thus most Training Partners (TPs) are in the process of mobilising the candidates,” the panel said, calling for strengthening the monitoring mechanism on TPS to keep a check on any kind of deviation in the quantity and quality of training.

Pointing to the absence of data about trained youth preferring to go for self-employment, the panel wanted the TPs to be directed to keep such information, and seek feedback from trainees.