Data shows part utilisation of funds to compensate sterilisation deaths
After the Supreme Court rap on sterilisation deaths in a medical camp at Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh, Health Ministry statistics submitted in the apex court show that only a part of the funds approved to compensate victims are actually spent.
The Ministry’s affidavit shows that a grand total of Rs. 1,566.69 lakh was approved in 2013-14 for 36 States and Union Territories under the Family Planning Indemnity Scheme. Of this, Rs. 675.59 lakh was utilised.
In 2014-15, Rs. 1485.80 lakh was approved by the government, but Rs. 828.19 lakh was spent.
The scheme, started in 2013, is meant to compensate families of victims who died as a result of botched-up sterilisation procedures.
The chart in the March 12 affidavit shows that the ‘high-focus’ States under the scheme are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
A total of Rs. 756.04 lakh was approved in 2014-15 for this category under the scheme. Of this, Rs. 447.19 lakh was spent.
Last year, Rs. 307.35 lakh of a total Rs. 866.96 lakh approved was spent.
In Chhattisgarh, where the tragedies happened, the State government has disbursed Rs. 63.40 lakh in 2014-15.
In the North-Eastern States, of a total Rs. 59.49 lakh approved for 2014-15 under the scheme, only Rs. 1.31 lakh has been utilised.
‘Non-high focus’ States
States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana Maharashtra, Punjab, Goa, Gujarat and West Bengal have been classified as ‘non-high focus’ States by the Ministry.
Of the Rs. 142.97 lakh approved in Tamil Nadu in 2014-15, Rs. 123.25 lakh has been spent under the scheme.
A total of Rs. 632.97 lakh was approved for the non-high focus States this year, so far they have used Rs. 375.44 lakh.
The Social Justice Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur had on January 30 this year called the Bilaspur deaths a “tragedy.”
Besides the deaths, over 30 persons were reported critical after undergoing “faulty” sterilisation surgeries at a government-organised family planning camp there.
Eighty-three women allegedly underwent the procedure in five hours at free sterilisation camps organised by the Health department on Nov. 8.
Keywords: sterilisation deaths, Health Ministry
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