WHY HAS FUNDING IN BUDGET 2015 SEEN A SHARP DECLINE FOR WOMEN?
IndiaSpend, data analysis agency writes for Expert Speak to uncover the real numbers behind Budget 2015.
The 2015-16 Budget sees a 19% cut in the overall allocation towards women from last financial year.
The total budget for the Ministry of Women and Child development is less than halved.
Rape crisis centres cut from 660 to 36
A hard look at the numbers
Let’s take a look at the data. As the new Government came to power, they promised that women’s issues will be taken seriously and women’s development was on their agenda. However, the real picture now seems wary.
Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: Funds Decline in Budget 2015-16
The 2015-16 Budget had a 19% cut in the overall allocation towards women from last financial year. The Government is being criticised for slashing funds for women from various quarters.
Let us take a look at the volume of total funds that go towards schemes for women from the past budgets from the last five years:
Budget Allocations for Women in the Past (figures in Rs.Crore)
Allocation of resources
for women (in Rs Crore )
Budget 2015-16 sees a 19% cut in the overall allocation towards women from last financial year.
The table above shows the gradual increase in the allocation. But this year, the allocation suddenly declined. The central government has cut down the overall spending on social schemes in the budget 2015-16. And that is also reflected in budget allocations for women.
India ranks among the lowest countries in the world: Gender Inequality
The socio-economic condition of Indian women does not fare too well globally. In UNDP’s (United Nations Development Programme) Gender Inequality Index (GII) India ranks 127 amongst 152 countries. GII takes into account reproductive health, empowerment and economic status of women.
The poor statistics of women’s health and overall social backwardness is reflected in poor international rankings.
Very low rates in female Literacy, child sex ratio and maternal mortality: India
Female literacy rate in India is only 64.6% in census 2011.
Another concern is the decline in the child sex ratio (CSR– girls per 1000 boys aged 0-4 or 0-6) in India from 976 in 1961 to 918 in 2011.
As far as maternal health is concerned, the Millennium Development Goals for maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 140 per 100,000 live births. India had achieved 178 by 2010-12 and it is estimated to reach 141 by 2015.
With such state of affairs cutting down of spending for women may not be conducive for gender development in India.
Ministry-wise Spending Cuts for Women and Child Schemes
|Ministry of HRD||
Women and Child
Source: Budget 2015-16 (Figs in Rs Crore) *10 crore is Centrally sponsored. Funding through states will be through Nirbhaya Fund.
Less than halved: Budgets for Ministry of Women and Child
The data above show the decline in funding for women in the new regime compared to UPA’s last budget. The total budget for the Ministry of Women and Child development is less than halved. Programmes such as the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) have shown a lot of success with women’s Self-Help Groups.The funds for the old schemes have been slashed while the new schemes are still not implemented fully.
Following are new women’s schemes from the Budget 2015-16:
New Schemes for Women
New Women and Child
Nirbhaya Fund for
For safety and
security of women
Finance (Department of
Part of Beti
Padao Beti Bachao
For promoting survival,
protection, and education
of the girl child
Women and Child
Source: Budget 2015-16(Figs in Rs Crore)
Nirbhaya Fund: Only 321 crore from 1000 crore utilised
After the Delhi rape case of 2012, the Government of India set up Rs 1000 Crore Nirbhaya Fund in the Budget 2013-14. So far, only Rs 321.69 Crorehave been sanctioned from this fund to build Global Positioning Systems for police to provide speedy help in emergencies. In the present fiscal, another Rs 1000 Crore have been allocated for the Nirbhaya Fund.
The new schemes added last year such as Beti Padao, Beti Bachao addresses low female sex ratio and literacy rates in India. So far, it is too early to comment on the implementation of this scheme. This scheme is being launched through the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
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