New Delhi: Even as the allocation for the social
sector has been increased 17 percent by Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee in the budget proposals for 2011-12, little increase has
been seen in the funds for women and child development, says a
prominent social activist.
"The budget certainly does not reflect gender budgeting as there
has not been any significant mention of allocation of resources
for better implementation of laws and policies for women. In the
absence of proper gender audit, all resources directed towards
women will go unused and unaccounted for," Centre for Social
Research director Ranjana Kumari told IANS.
With an allocation of Rs.12,650 crore - Rs. 2,280 crore more than
last year's Rs. 10,370 crore, the allocation for women and child
development in the budget is still insufficient, she said.
"There is need for more. We need to pay more attention mostly in
four key fields - child nutrition, educating the girl child,
reducing maternal mortality and ensuring social well-being of
women by reducing violence and other deterring factors. However,
none of these have been specifically focused on in the budget,"
Ranjana Kumari said.
She added that the increase in remuneration for the anganwadi
workers was also "too little, too late". The remuneration for
anganwadi workers has been increased from Rs.1,500 per month to
Rs.3,000 per month, while that for the helpers has been increased
from Rs.750 to Rs.1,500, applicable from April 1.
"That was a long pending demand, the inflation is so high this
increase is very little, in fact it is too little, too late," she
"Looking at the importance of early childhood care and
development, it seems that it is a very small investment and
anganwadi workers and helpers will continue to remain underpaid
and unrecognised," she said.
She also said that the Rs.500 crore corpus for self help groups (SHG)
will be of little benefit to women.
"Several research studies point out that the SHGs are benefiting
the banks instead and not the below poverty line women. In the
absence of proper auditing, the invested amount will not reach the
poorest of the poor women," she said.
Noting the "lack of gender senitisation" in the budget, she said
the demands from the departments are low, and there is no focus on
She highlighted that except for the department of health and
family welfare which has demanded a pool of Rs.4,300 crore for
reproductive and child health (RCH), and Rs.3,500 crore for rural
family welfare services, other departments have made ridiculously
"Only Rs.50 crore have been demanded for National Scheme for
Incentive to the Girl Child for Secondary Education, and Rs.50
crore for Mahila Samakhya for Women," she said.
"Similarly, only Rs.1.10 crore have been demanded for important
schemes like Mahila Coir Yojna. For Financial Assistance to Women
with Disabilities to look after their children after birth, only
Rs.0.01 crore has been demanded," Ranjana Kumari added.