Even though adequate funds have been made available for the Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) system of medicines in the country by the union finance ministry, the Ayush department failed to fully utilise the funds during the last three years. According to the latest data available with the union health ministry, the Ayush department could utilise only Rs.580.27 crores out of a revised estimated budget of Rs.670.00 crore during the financial year 2012-2013.
However, the actual budget estimate for the year for the Ayush medicines was Rs.990 crore. During the current financial year till August 23, the Ayush department has utilised a paltry sum of Rs.197 crore against a budget estimate of Rs.1069 crore. The story is not much different during the previous years. In the year 2011-12, the department spent Rs.611.47 crore against Rs.900 crores of the budget estimate. However, the revised budget estimate for the year was Rs.650 crore. Likewise, during the year 2010-11, the department spent Rs.848.90 crore against the revised budget estimate of Rs.888 crore. The approved allocation of the Ayush department has been increasing progressively over the years.
The allocation of the 12th Five Year Plan of Rs.10,044 crore amounts to an increase of 235 per cent over the actual expenditure of 11th Plan for promotion, development and research of Ayush system of medicine. Promotion of Ayush systems of medicine globally is one of the mandates of the Department of Ayush. Under the central sector scheme of international cooperation, different activities have been undertaken by the department such as international exchange of experts; support for organizing international conferences, seminars, workshops, conduct of market surveys and studies; setting up Ayush promotive windows/ kiosks/electronic networking facilities; establishment of Ayush information cells/ health centres in Indian Embassies/ Missions to disseminate authentic information about Ayush abroad; grant of Ayush Fellowship to foreign nationals for undertaking Ayush courses at premier institutions in India, establishing Ayurveda and Unani Chairs, etc.
The department has set up five central councils for research one in each Ayush systems of medicine for undertaking, coordinating, formulating, developing and promoting research in organized and scientific manner. The department also encourages and promotes research by supporting educational and training programme workshops and conferences, by conducting lectures by eminent experts, state of the art research, state drug testing laboratories, developing pharmacopoeial standards, etc.