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CAG Report on Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals

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  • Published
    1st Aug, 2019

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have highlighted several concerns regarding the country’s preparedness to achieve the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have highlighted several concerns regarding the country’s preparedness to achieve the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

This performance audit was carried out by the office of the Director General of Audit (Central Expenditure) with inputs from Accountants General from the states.

Audit methodology

Goal 3 –‘Good Health and Well Being’ was selected for detailed examination.

CAG audited preparedness activities on Goal 3 of 17 Central Ministries including, NITI Aayog, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and seven States - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The Audit findings

Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being

  • Ministries linked with Goal 3, were not involved in national consultation.
  • Activity Mapping in respect of Goal 3 was not comprehensive in selected States.
  • State led actions and policies in line with Goal 3 were marred in delays and absence of a holistic approach.
  • What was disturbing to note that the ministries associated with Goal 3 were not represented in Task Force and working groups/sub-groups.
  • Health spending as a percentage of total States expenditure ranged from 3.29 to 5.32 per cent. This need considerable augmentation.
  • Data for certain health indicators were not consistently and uniformly available.

Adapting the 2030 Agenda

  • Road map is missing with milestones for SDG targets to be achieved in the year 2020, 2025 and 2030.
  • Vision document is not yet complete.
  • Public awareness about SDGs was not comprehensive, focussed or sustained.
  • States may need to strengthen institutional arrangements by identifying support departments and defining roles and responsibilities.
  • Ministry of Finance and State Governments are yet to integrate SDG related financial resources in national budgeting for implementing SDGs.
  • Monitoring: There was no proposal to identify milestones for the national indicators. Out of 306 indicators included in NIF, data for 137 indicators were not yet available.

Additional notes:

About Sustainable Development Goals

  • In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, the new Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.
  • GOAL 1: No Poverty
  • GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • GOAL 4: Quality Education
  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • GOAL 13: Climate Action
  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water
  • GOAL 15: Life on Land
  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Background and Beyond - MDG and SDG

  • At the Millennium Summit held in 2000 at the UN Headquarters in New York, eight development goals known as the 'Millennium Development Goals' (MDGs) were adopted, which formed the blueprint for countries to pursue their national development strategies from 2000 to 2015. The MDGs comprised eight Goals and addressed various development issues.
  • The MDGs targets were unevenly achieved across the countries and a need was felt to start fresh discussions to assess the usefulness of the MDGs and to explore possible successor to guide development cooperation in the world beyond 2015.
  • The UN General Assembly in its 70thSession considered and adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next 15 years.
  • The 17 SDGs came into force with effect from 1stJanuary, 2016.Though not legally binding; the SDGs have become de facto international obligations and have potential to reorient domestic spending priorities of the countries during the next fifteen years.
  • Countries are expected to take ownership and establish a national framework for achieving these Goals. Implementation and success will rely on countries' own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes.
  • Countries would be responsible for follow-up and review at the national level, with regard to the progress made in implementing the Goals and targets.

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