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    Budget 2019: Women and Child Development Ministry's budget hiked by 20%

    Budget 2019: Women and Child Development Ministry's budget hiked by 20%

    Budget 2019: Women and Child Development Ministry's budget hiked by 20%
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    By PTI  IST (Published)

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    The Child Protection Services programme under the Integrated Child Development Services was increased to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 925 crore.

    Rs 29,000 crore has been set aside for the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry for the next fiscal, a 20 per cent increase over the 2018-2019 financial year with the Centre's programmes of maternity benefit and child protection services getting a major boost in the Budget announced Friday.
    The allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a maternity benefit programme, was more than doubled to Rs 2,500 crore from Rs 1,200 crore. Under the programme, Rs 6,000 each is provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
    The Child Protection Services programme under the Integrated Child Development Services was increased to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 925 crore.
    WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi said that she will prepare a roadmap for her ministry for the next five years, wherein integrated large facilities will be established across the country for women and children in need of care and protection.
    Rs 29,164.90 crore has been earmarked for the WCD ministry for the next financial year, a 20 per cent increase over the Rs 24,758.62 crore allocated to it last year. A major chunk of it -- Rs 19,834.37 crore -- is for anganwadi services.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' will get Rs 280 crore as compared to Rs 200 crore in the current financial year.
    The National Nutrition Mission, which strives to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low-birth weight babies and aims to benefit 10 crore people across the country, was allocated Rs 3,400 crore. The allocation for the Mahila Shakti Kendras has been increased to Rs 150 crore.
    In total, the centrally sponsored schemes got a boost of Rs 4,400 crore to Rs 28,914.
    The allocation for the National Creche Scheme has been enhanced from Rs 30 crore to Rs 50 crore, which will enable working women to safely leave their children in creches while they are out at work.
    Similarly, the allocation for Working Women's Hostel scheme witnessed over three times increase from Rs 52 crore to Rs 165 crore (Budgetary Estimates 2019-20).
    With all the components of the Mahila Shakti Kendras scheme having been put in place, the budget for this scheme has been increased from Rs 115 crore to Rs 150 crore.
    On the issue of providing safety for all women, the budget for UJJAWALA (WCD Ministry's scheme for rescued trafficked women) has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore. Similarly, the budget for widows' homes has also been increased from Rs 8 crore to Rs 15 crore.
    Effectively, the total budget under the Mission for Protection and Empowerment of Women stands increased from Rs 1,156 crore to Rs 1,330 crore.
    Reacting to the budgetary allocation for the WCD Ministry, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights said the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme which forms a part of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, seems to have been "forgotten".
    "Even while reporting its significant achievements in the last four years (2014-18), the Ministry of Women and Child Development failed to report on the progress made under this scheme and the budgetary implications of the scheme are never disclosed," the child rights NGO said.
    On the National Scheme for Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education, it said, "Clearly, education of the girl child does not seem to be a priority."
    "One of the key objectives of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme is to advance education of the girl child. While the budget for the scheme remains the same between 2018-19 and 2019-20, how much is allocated towards this objective and spent on it is not known. On the other hand, the budget for the National Scheme for Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education has seen a substantial cut of 61 per cent, reducing from Rs 255.90 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 100 crore in 2019-18," the NGO said.
    The National Scheme for Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education aims to promote school enrolment of girl child in the age group of 14-18 at the secondary stage.
    Commenting on the interim Budget, Puja Marwaha, the CEO at CRY (Child Rights and You) said, "The Interim Budget, 2019, has shown positive trends towards the vulnerable sections of our society, including farmers, small entrepreneurs and the tax-paying middle classes."
    "Yet, for almost 40 per cent of India's population comprising its children, it failed to address the expectations of the nation, as children were neither a part of the Budget speech, nor were they visible anywhere in the 10 point vision for 2030," the NGO said.
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