Gender schemes allocation sees decline this fiscal
Despite an increase of 8.3% in the Gender Budget Statement (GBS) this fiscal from ₹1,25,531.6 crore to ₹1,36,934.10 crore, the spend on gender schemes saw a 0.2 percentage point decrease in its share of the total union budget expenditure.
The funds set aside for Part A of the GBS, which lists schemes that are completely women-specific, accounts for 1.2% of the total expenditure this year. This is a fall from the 1.4% it accounted for in 2018-19. Funds under Part B, which lists schemes with a 30% focus on women, fell from 4.2% in 2018-19 to 4.1% this year. In all the GBS accounted for 5.3% of the total budget expenditure last year compared to 5.1% this year.
Under component A of the Gender Budget Statement the allocation went up from ₹27,404.44 crore last year to ₹27,419.98 crore this fiscal. A closer look will reveal that some of the key schemes saw a decline. The Petroleum and Natural Gas ministry’s flagship Ujjwala Yojana saw a decline from ₹3,200 crore to ₹2,724 crore this year.
Sakshi Rai of the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) says that the silver lining is that the number of Demands for Grants included in the GBS has increased from 33 last year to 39 this fiscal.
Schemes that focus on the protection and empowerment for women, too, witnessed a decline in allocations.
In component B of the GBS, there have been notable increases in allocations under the health and family welfare (MOHFW) and human resources and development ministries.