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Parl panel objects to Nirbhaya Fund being used for building construction

The non-lapsable corpus fund was instituted following gang-rape of a girl in Delhi in 2012, which triggered a nation-wide outrage and protests

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Gangrape, Juvenile, Nirbhaya, Delhi

A parliamentary panel has taken strong exception to the utilisation of Fund in construction of buildings, saying such allocations virtually defeat the very purpose of the project -- the women safety.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by P Chidambaram, on Thursday said it is of the firm view that funds for construction of buildings should come from other sources.

"The committee strongly recommends that the home ministry should desist from sanctioning funds for schemes like construction of buildings from the Fund and adhere to its original purpose," it said.

The Fund was started in 2013 by the led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to implement initiatives aimed at enhancing safety and security of women across the country.

The non-lapsable corpus fund was instituted following gang-rape of a girl in in 2012, which triggered a nation-wide outrage and protests.

The committee said that sanctioning money from Nirbhaya Fund for schemes pertaining to compensation would render it as a fund for merely disbursal and would not have a desired impact at the ground-level in enhancing the security scenario for the women.

The panel observed that Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned as one-time grant for (CVCF) Scheme for compensating women victims of acid attacks, rape, trafficking, etc.

It appreciated the necessity and significance of the CVCF Scheme, however, suggesting that this scheme could have been funded from other sources.

The committee took note of the reply of the home ministry that the decreased allocation made for 'Schemes of Safety of Women' was primarily because most of the expenditure out of the approved outlay for Emergency Response Support System had already been incurred up to 2017-18.

The committee, however, felt that the home ministry should have been "more proactive in finding new technology-driven projects" that could have been implemented during the current fiscal year.

"The committee feels that ministry should identify such innovative projects for funding and implementation.

"The committee, therefore, recommends that the ministry should undertake sincere efforts to identify innovative technology-driven projects that can enhance the safety of women, and seek additional funds for their implementation," it said.

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 14:45 IST
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