Despite having third lowest sex ratio in the country, Punjab government failed to utilise Rs.5.45 crore allocated under the Centre's flagship 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' (BBBP) scheme for the girl child during the past two years.
According to the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report tabled in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday, out of Rs.6.36 crore released by the Centre to the state government during 2014-16, only Rs.0.91 crore was utilised up to March 2016.
Launched in January 2015, BBBP is a 100 per cent Center sector scheme to address the issue of decline in child sex ratio in 100 gender critical districts. As many as 20 of 22 Punjab districts have been included in the programme.
The report said the Union women and child development ministry noted that sex ratio at birth (SRB), one of the targets of the scheme, decreased in six Punjab districts — Barnala, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Sangrur, SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Sri Muktsar Sahib — in March 2016 as compared to 2014.
"Delayed release of funds, short utilisation of funds, non-compliance of guidelines, non or short conducting of required task force meetings indicated lack of monitoring of the scheme which could further adversely affect implementation of the scheme," the report said.
It said due to infrequent state task force meetings, while implementation of the scheme was affected in 11 districts, the scheme could not be started in nine districts.
"Audit also noticed that in four of these districts, the SRB was not only declining, but was also less than overall SRB of State–892 as in March 2016," the report said. Barnala's SRB in 2014 was 836, but it dropped to 821 in 2015. Likewise, Ferozepur's SRB was 871 in 2015 as against 895 in 2014.
Gurdaspur's SRB was 851 in 2015 as against 889 in 2014 while Sangrur's SRB dropped to 832 in 2015 from 863 the previous year. Mohali (SAS Nagar), too, reported a fall in SRB, which came down from 956 in 2014 to 923 in 2015.
According to the 2011 Census, the number of females per 1,000 males in Punjab stood at 895. Only Haryana (879) and Jammu and Kashmir (889 female) had worse sex ration than Punjab.