COME THE next State Budget, women will get to know the money being spent on their welfare by government departments. Stepping into the shoes of the Centre, the state government is preparing a ‘gender budget’.
Finance department officers are busy giving the final shape to the first-ever exercise in the state. After 2007-08, the area of gender budgeting would be expanded further.
“In this budget, expenses to be incurred on women and girl child are likely to be included so that a clear picture would emerge about the share of budget allocated to the fair sex,” said Finance Minister Raghavji.
During the first year, the state government will cover 13 major departments — including women and child development, school education, higher education, SC, ST and OBC welfare, health, rural development, urban development, panchayat and social welfare.
Gender budgeting is not a separate budget for women; rather it is a dissection of the budget to establish its gender-differential impacts and translate gender commitments into budgetary commitments, Raghavji added. “The main objective of a gender-sensitive budget is to improve the analysis of incidence of budgets, attain more effective targeting of public expenditure and offset any undesirable gender-specific consequences of previous budgetary measures,” he said.
The Finance Department has issued guidelines to departments about preparation of the gender budget and some rounds of meetings have already been held between the officials of the finance department and the departments where this budget would be introduced.
“We are discussing various issues with department officials so as to prepare the first gender budget of Madhya Pradesh,” said a senior officer Finance Department.
Talking to Hindustan Times he said the gender budget entails affirmative action for empowering women and examination of the utilisation of resources allocated for women and impact of public expenditure and policies on women.