The budget allocated for this year year to Women and Child Development Ministry is merely one per cent of the total outlay. Whereas gender budgeting, which was initiated in 2005 in recognition of the fact that budget for general population might not necessarily benefit women, stands unchanged since than at five per cent.
After the effects of demonitization on unorganized sector, expectations where high from the budget that it will heal the wounds of number of women who are daily wage workers or are devoid of work.
As per the latest figures of Labour International Organization, the average hourly salary of women is thirty per cent less than that of a man in India. A gender sensitive budget could have provided them some monetary benefits. Although, the houses built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna – Gramin calls for joint ownership of houses, but this cannot be counted as exclusively for women. A great measure that could have happened as to ow concession on stamp duties if the property is purchased in the name of a woman.
An analysis of twenty seven per cent increase in budget allocation in this ministry reveals that the actually hike is in Integrated Child Devlopment Scheme (ICDS)and maternity benefit scheme which were previously underfunded. Even after this, the marginal increase is insufficient to pay minimum wages to poor anganwadi workers. Not just allocation, the existing funds are deeply under-utilized. PM Modi’s pet scheme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ spent merely forty two crore out of the earmarked hundred crore.