The Independent Evaluation Office was set up in 2013 by the Government of India to improve the effectiveness of government programmes and policies for economic and social development.
The IEO will work independently and and transparently and will present its findings in Parliament. The IEO has been mandated to focus on three main challenges that India currently faces:
The inability to implement and deliver public services is well known but as to why India finds it so difficult to deliver public services is a puzzle. India has many national flagship programs with ambitious goals but their delivery remains very uneven.
In 2013-14, India has budgeted around Rs 200,000 crores ( roughly $ 30 billion) for its flagship programs to improve a range of basic services.
The largest 10 programs in terms of outlay for 2013-14
|1. Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.||Rs 33,000 crore|
|2. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan||Rs 27,258 crore|
|3. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana||Rs 21,700 crore|
|4. National Health Mission||Rs 21,239 crore|
|5. ICDS||Rs 17,700 crore|
|6. Indira Awas Yojana||Rs 15,184 crore|
|7. JNN Urban Renewal Mission||Rs 14,873 crore|
|8. Mid Day Meal Program||Rs 13,215 crore|
|9. National Rural Drinking Water Program||Rs 11,000 crore|
|10. RG Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana||Rs 4,500 crore|
India has had a large social assistance program for a long time – largely built around product based subsidies.Over the last five years India’s explicit subsidy bill in the budget has increased by almost 1 percent of GDP – and now is almost 2.4% of GDP, however, there is very little focus on how to deliver social protection in an efficient and cost effective manner to people.
India liberalised its license control regime after 1991, and opened its trade account which attracted substantial increases in investment. For a while the economy grew rapidly but lately India has suffered a decline in investment and FDI has fallen. Indian business has also started investing outside the country. There is a growing sense that doing business in India is difficult.
With this agenda the IEO hopes to open a virtual discussion with a network of institutes and civil society organisations on what the work program of the Independent Evaluation Office. This debate will not only open the space for discussion but will become an open forum for ideas and solutions as well.