Budget 2020-21: While the government has allocated a high amount for welfare schemes pertaining to women, the budget has remained severely underutilized in almost nine months.
Budget 2020 India: While the government has allocated a high amount for welfare schemes pertaining to women, the budget has remained severely underutilized in almost nine months. Of the total Rs 201.21 crore allocated to the Ministry of Women and Child Development for schemes funded from the Nirbhaya Fund, not a single penny was spent till 24 December 2019, official data showed, The Indian Express reported. And this hasn’t been an isolated case. For Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, which is one of the better-known schemes of the BJP government, the results were found to be similar with Rs 43.94 crore out of the total allocated amount of Rs 280 crore spent to date. This is just a little over 15% of the total allocated amount.
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Other women protection and empowerment schemes were also allotted about Rs 1,330 crore, only Rs 204.77 crore was spent of this amount; a meagre 15.29% of the allocation, the national daily reported. For example, while the Working Women Hostel scheme was budgeted around Rs 165 crore, only Rs 19.72 crore was spent till 24 December. For another scheme called Home for Widows, no money was spent till 24 December out of Rs 15 crore allocated for the Ministry of WCD scheme.
Schemes such as Mahila Shakti Kendra and Ujjwala also remained underperformers. The former had an allocation of Rs 150 crore and only Rs 8.75 crore was spent. On the other hand, Ujjwala scheme had an allocation of Rs 30 crore and out of this, only Rs 8.58 crore was spent.
However, it is not just the schemes for women that are lagging behind. According to The Indian Express RTI application, several other schemes where the beneficiaries belong to the minorities — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and disabled people — were also found to be underperforming. This includes schemes like a post-matric scholarship to SCs; free coaching of Scheduled Caste and OBC students; Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Scheme; and Hamari Dharohar scheme, among others.