WCD Ministry allotted Rs 17,408 crore
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who presented his third consecutive Budget in the Lok Sabha on Monday, allocated Rs 17,408 crore to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD).
The amount sanctioned to one of the key programmes of the ministry – One Stop Centres for women – has been increased by almost 300 per cent to Rs 75 crore from Rs 13 crore, while Rs 500 crore has been allocated to the Nirbhaya Fund. This is a positive move as the ministry had faced 50 per cent cuts in last year’s Budget allocation.
“The Economic Survey for 2016-17 states that investment in maternal and child nutrition is a must for the country to capitalise on the ‘demographic dividend’. Taking this forward, the Budget for 2016-17 has provided enhanced budgetary support for critical areas, where schemes of the WCD Ministry are operational, particularly for providing supplementary nutrition as well as protection to women and children,” stated a release issued by the Ministry.
As per the Expenditure Statement, the total allocation for 2016-17 stands at Rs 17,408 crore. The release also mentioned a break-up of the amount sanctioned. It stated: “A total of Rs 15,860 crore has been provided for the development of children. About Rs 415 crore has been allocated to Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and Rs 300 crore to the National Nutrition Mission.
Additional funds have also been provided for setting up food and nutrition laboratories. These will ultimately provide support to the ministry in its efforts to fight child malnutrition in the country.”
“The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao budget has been enhanced from Rs 75 crore to Rs 100 crore in 2016-17. Similarly, allocation for the establishment of women shelter homes has been increased from Rs 52 crore (RE) in 2015-16 to Rs 100 crore in 2016-17. The allocation for the establishment of One Stop Centres has been increased by almost 500 per cent – from Rs 13 crore to Rs 75 crore. The Finance Ministry has also allocated Rs 500 crore to the Nirbhaya Fund...With these measures, it is expected that the Ministry will be able to effectively take forward the agenda of development of women and children,” it stated.