All departments asked to monitor gender budget, says Uttarakhand FM | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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All departments asked to monitor gender budget, says Uttarakhand FM

Finance minister Prakash Pant has asked departments concerned to ensure effective monitoring of the gender budget to maximize the utilization of monetary allocation meant for supporting welfare of women in the state

dehradun Updated: Jul 05, 2017 19:47 IST
Neha Pant
Women work at a village field in Rudraprayag district.
Women work at a village field in Rudraprayag district.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Finance minister Prakash Pant has asked departments concerned to ensure effective monitoring of the gender budget to maximize the utilization of monetary allocation meant for supporting welfare of women in the state.

The Uttarakhand government has made an estimated provision of ₹3,294 crore for gender budget for the current fiscal. The gender budget encompasses the proposed expenditure within the overall budget of the state that is intended to be spent on schemes benefitting women fully or partly.

This year’s gender budget estimate is around 7% higher than the revised gender budget of 2016-17. In the initial budget placed by it in 2016-17, the then Congress-led state government had allocated ₹3,567 crore for gender budget, which was later amended to ₹3,066 crore in the revised budget.

“Directions are being issued to respective departments to ensure effective monitoring of the gender budget and see that the budgetary provisions are utilized well. They (departments) are being made responsible for the task (of monitoring the gender budget),” Pant told Hindustan Times.

The gender budget covers various women welfare schemes spread across 19 departments including women empowerment and child development, education, health and family welfare, police, culture, sports, agriculture, industries and rural development among others.

Underlining how the state had “limited financial resources”, Pant said the departments were being asked to ensure proper evaluation of gender budget through judicious and target-linked expenditure. “Careful and timebound expenditure (under the gender budget) will be able to establish its efficacy,” he added.

Welcoming the step, activists said that the successive state governments had been allocating funds for women welfare schemes but simply making the provision was not enough.

“It is equally important to verify if the allocation is reaching its intended beneficiaries and that it is yielding the desired results as envisioned in the gender budget (for women welfare),” said Dehradun-based women rights activist Rekha Pundir.

It is worth recalling that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India audit report on Uttarakhand’s finances, too, had highlighted how the state lacked a mechanism to assess the effective implementation of schemes being run under the gender budget.