New Delhi– Not a single paisa of the Nirbhaya Fund has been spent nearly two years after it was constituted and the government is busy tossing the project from one ministry to the other. Under this fund, various departments can seek money from the Ministry of Women and Child Development for schemes to improve safety and security of women.

Recently, the finance ministry, which holds the funds, has outsourced responsibility of approving and monitoring projects to the women and child ministry.

The fund was instituted by the UPA government in 2013, months after the brutal gang-rape and murder of a young physiotherapist in New Delhi shocked the country.

Initially, Rs 1,000 crore was allocated for the fund. Each year since then, the government has been adding to the corpus, with the latest addition made in the budget for 2015- 2016. The corpus stands at Rs 3,000 crore. Out of this, only Rs 700 crore has been earmarked for schemes, but no money has been spent till now.

“The women and child development ministry is the nodal authority which can be approached by various ministries or departments with proposals and schemes,” states an advisory issued by the finance ministry.

The women and child development ministry will then send the proposals to department of eonomic affairs for budgetary allocations.

The department will appraise the proposal on financial and other aspects to avoid duplicity of schemes. Following this, the budget division in the department, with the approval of the finance minister, will approve the funding of schemes from the Nirbhaya Fund.

The women and child development ministry, however, is not happy with this role. “This is so convoluted. How many processes does a project have to go through,” asked a senior ministry official.