Srinagar, Nov 21: Jammu and Kashmir has lost over Rs 100 crore centre funds for non-implementation of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in eight years.
The ICPS, a centrally-sponsored programme for child protection, was implemented across the country in 2009. However, Jammu and Kashmir did not implement it till 2017.
During these years, an official of ICPS said, JK lost around Rs 100 crore.
The government of India has spent Rs 2,141.50 crore under ICPS between 2009 to December 2016.
“Jammu and Kashmir was not allotted any funds till 2014,” the official said.
Although the scheme has now been implemented in the state, it is still in infancy.
“The state received only Rs 1.56 crore–the lowest to any state–during 2015 and 2016. Due to non-implementation of the scheme over these years, the state’s annual allocation has been reduced to less than Rs one crore,” the official said.
It has main office housed in a rented building at Barazulla here.
It still lacks required manpower and infrastructure.
“Although it has been rolled out on papers, a lot has to be done for its implementation. We need the adequate staff and infrastructure,” the official said.
It took the state eight years to roll out the scheme, despite the state having highest percentage of orphans.
Earlier, Union Minister for women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, had said that no proposal had been received from Jammu and Kashmir for the release of grants under the ICPS.
Later, the then-joint secretary in the ministry Vivek Joshi also wrote to the state government asking that the requirements for the ICPS implementation be fulfilled.
The scheme was aimed at protection of children from abuse and exploitation and for their holistic growth and development.
It was also introduced to address gaps in existing initiatives and putting in place a safety net of exclusive structures, services and trained personnel for the protection of children in difficult circumstances.
Under the scheme, every district will have a juvenile justice board and child protection committee for counselling and taking care of the children who are in conflict with the law or living in difficult
Former high court judge Justice Hasnain Masoodi, who is chairman for its selection/oversight committee, admitted a huge funds have been lapsed over the years. “Now, the process has been initiated for its proper implementation. There are so many welfare schemes, which are not been implemented on the ground. Even administrators are not providing funds for the schemes,” he said.