A sum of Rs 30,000 crore has been set aside for the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry for the next fiscal in the Budget announced on Saturday, a 14 per cent increase over the 2019-2020 financial year. The total amount allocated for the social services sector, which includes nutrition and social security and welfare, has been increased from Rs 3,891.71 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 4,036.49 crore in 2020-21.
The Budget for the National Nutrition Mission or Poshan Abhiyan has been increased from Rs 3,400 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 3,700 in 2020-21.
The Poshan Abhiyan, which aims to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022, has been a key focus area of the Women and Child Development Ministry. The allocation for 'One Stop Centre' scheme saw a major boost from Rs 204 crore in last fiscal to Rs 385 crore this fiscal.
The scheme aims to facilitate access to an integrated range of services, including medical aid, police assistance, legal aid and psycho-social counselling to women affected by violence, including sexual assault. The Centre's programmes of maternity benefit and child protection services also got a boost in the Budget.
The allocation for Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a maternity benefit programme, has been increased from Rs 2,300 crore to Rs 2,500 crore. Under the programme, Rs 6,000 is given to pregnant women and lactating mothers for the birth of the first living child.
The allocation for the Child Protection Services programme under the Integrated Child Development Services has been increased to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 1,350 crore.
A sum of Rs 30,007.10 crore has been earmarked for the WCD Ministry for the next financial year, a 14 per cent increase over Rs 26,184.50 crore allocated to it last year. A major chunk of the sum, Rs 20,532.38 crore, is for 'anganwadi' services.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' has been allocated Rs 220 crore in the current financial year. The allocation for the Mahila Shakti Kendras has been doubled from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore. The total allocation for the centrally sponsored schemes was Rs 29,720.38 crore, a boost of Rs 3,804 crore from the last fiscal.
The allocation for the National Creche Scheme has also been increased from Rs 50 crore to Rs 75 crore. The scheme aims to enable working women to safely leave their children in crches while they are away at work. Similarly, the allocation for Working Women's Hostel scheme has been tripled from Rs 45 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 150 crore in 2020-21.
On the issue of providing safety for all women, the budget for Ujjawala, a scheme for prevention of trafficking, rescue and rehabilitation of the victims, has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore. The total budget under the Mission for Protection and Empowerment of Women was increased from Rs 961 crore to Rs 1,163 crore.