50% Cut in Allocation of Funds For Women and Child Development Schemes

New Delhi
50% Cut in Allocation of Funds For Women and Child Development Schemes

Over Rs 8,000 crore has been allocated for schemes dealing with malnutrition among children and pregnant women in the current financial year, a cut of almost 50 per cent from last year.

Ministry officials said that in the current year there has been a drastic cut in the fund allocation for the development of women and children. The Plan outlay of the Ministry which was Rs 21,000 crore in 2014-15, has been cut to Rs 10,286.73 crore in 2015-16, registering a decrease of about 50 per cent.

The maximum allocation of 8335.77 crore has been given to Integrated Women and Child Development scheme which is significantly low from last years' budget of 18,195 crore.

The ICDS, which is implemented through a network of about 7,067 operational projects and about 13.42 lakh Anganwadi centers, is a scheme for holistic development of children by providing them services like supplementary nutrition, pre-school education, and immunisation. The scheme alone accounts for approximately 86.23 per cent of the budget.

A budget provision of Rs 75.50 crore has been earmarked for 'Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls' as against the projected demand of Rs 700 crore. The scheme targets all-round development of adolescent girls between 11 to 18 years by improving their health, nutition and awaeness status.

"There has been a sharp decline as compared to the previous year's allocation of Rs 630 crore in this scheme. The cut is due to devolution of funds by the Centre to the state," a ministry official said.

Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, which is a cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women who are 19 years or above, has been allocated Rs 438 crore while National Nutrition Mission has been allocated Rs 205.79 crore.

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