Maneka Gandhi
Maneka Gandhi

WCD Ministry sees 20pc hike in outlay at Rs 4,856-cr for 2019-20

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 1: With a total outlay of Rs 29,165 crore, the Interim Budget for 2019-20 has seen a 20 per cent spike in the allocation for protection and empowerment of women and children over the previous year.

Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, while thanking the Finance Minister for enhanced allocations, stated that the increase in funds will help the Ministry to vigorously fight malnutrition and provide more efficient facilities for protection of women and children. A road map will be prepared for the next five years of her Ministry wherein integrated large facilities will be established for women and children in need of care and protection across the country, she added.

It may be recalled the budget for 2018-19 itself saw a hike of 12 per cent from the previous year indicating an increasing commitment of the government towards women and children.

The Ministry’s focus on protection of children has expanded substantially over the last few years and an ambitious programme has been drawn out. The budget under the Integrated Child Protection Services Scheme has gone up from Rs 925 crore to Rs 1,500 crore. This will enable the ministry to cater to the increased requirements of child protection services from the states which have emerged after effective implementation of the provisions of JJ Act, 2015. This will also provide extra funds for the proposed expansion of Childline.

To keep malnutrition at bay, the Government has enhanced the outlay for Umbrella ICDS scheme by almost Rs 4,500 crore in the coming financial year compared to budget allocation of last year. Similarly, the budget of programme component of National Nutrition Mission is up by Rs 400 crore. In the case of the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, launched in October 2017, the state governments have taken their time to come on board and an end-to-end seamless process of registration-approval-disbursement has been put in place.

Accordingly, the allocation under this scheme has been more than doubled from Rs 1,200 crore (RE 2018-19) to Rs 2,500 crore (BE 2019-20).

Similarly, 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 while out at work. The budget for Working Women’s Hostel scheme has been increased to more than three times from Rs 52 crore (RE 2018-19) to Rs 165 crore (BE 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, an official release here said.

On the issue of providing for safety needs of all women, the budget for the UJJAWALA scheme for rescued trafficked women has risen from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore while the budget for the widow’s 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.UNI