UNION BUDGET 2022-23: IT FOCUSES ON WOMEN AND CHILD WELFARE SCHEME by-Lakshyaraj Singh and Dr Snigdha Sarkar
The Bharatiya Janata Party proclaimed in its 2014 election manifesto that women were “nation builders” and devoted a huge proportion of its pledges to them. The manifesto stated that women’s security is a prerequisite for women’s empowerment and outlined a number of steps that would be developed to ensure more security for women and provide them with more prospects to be economically empowered. This Journal aims to cover all the prospects of the Welfare schemes implemented by the Government along with their ups and downsides.
Keywords: maybe women, child, welfare, welfare scheme, Government budget
As per the 2011 census, women and children account for 67.7% of the total population of India. 2Women’s and children’s empowerment and protection, as well as ensuring their healthy development, are critical for the country’s long-term and equitable development. The Ministry of Women and Child Development’s primary goal is to act on the gap in state action for women & children and aim at promoting inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral synchronisation in order to generate gender equity and child-centred legislation, regulations, and schemes. All key projects of the Ministry of Women and Child Development have been categorised under three schemes, namely, ‘Mission Poshan 2.0′, ‘Mission Vatsalya’ and ‘Mission Shakti’ for the effective execution of numerous plans and programmes.3
In terms of freedom and opportunity, the country’s Constitution guarantees women and men equal rights. A life-cycle sequential approach is being used to help women become the authors of their destinies. This approach creates an environment that acknowledges biases, prejudices and role plays, provides protection and upholds women’s rights and dignity, equips them with requisite skills, and instils confidence in them to cast ahead. The government places a premium on women’s safety, security, and dignity. As a result, an inclusive society must be created in which women and girls have equivalent opportunities and resources, allowing them to participate in India’s social, economic and political development.
III. METHODOLOGY :
The current work is aiming to find out the listed welfare schemes and their effects upon uplifting the status of women and children in Indian society. It is a descriptive cum analytical study and used both primary and secondary data to know the result and evaluate the status of these two categories of population in India. As primary data, it is using the budget estimates and statistics available on the government site and as secondary data, it is taking into consideration books, journals, articles, news reports etc.
This study aims to find out-
1. What is the welfare scheme introduced by Government to date through Budget estimates to improve the standard and well-being of women and children in India?
- What is the current status of the welfare level of women and children in India?
3. How these policies are implemented by the government?
- What is the success rate of the welfare scheme introduced by the government to date?
IV. THE WELFARE SCHEME INTRODUCED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Children are the architects and shapers of a nation’s future. Today’s youth will grow up to become adults in the near future. The kind of fortune that the nation anticipates will be governed by their character and personality. Hence, their well-being is crucial for the country’s growth and development. To ensure this, The government is incorporating the ‘Supplementary Nutrition Program’ and the, Poshan Abhiyaan, to form; Mission POSHAN 2.0′, which will improve the nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcomes. Many steps have been taken up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to guarantee the safety and well-being of the children. Mission Vatsalya being a major part of this purpose will continue to bestow the aforementioned goal as well. These procedures will provide youngsters with a suitable channelling of abilities, appropriate direction and training, and the desired environment. Given this, future generations will undoubtedly lead the country to greater heights and new worlds.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the union finance minister, declared in the Budget Speech, “Nari Shakti is the harbinger of India’s bright future.” 4 Recognising the relevance of Nari Shakti, the Cabinet approved ‘Mission Poshan 2.0′, Mission Shakti, and Mission Vatsalya as three significant Schemes of the Ministry to be enacted in a mission mode in 2021.
V. PROPOSALS FOR WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT :
- The Union Budget for 2022-23 has allotted Rs 25,172.28 crore to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) 5. The previous allocations from the Union Ministry have increased over three times since 2009-10.
- ‘Saksham Anganwadi’ as well as ‘Poshan 0’ (Umbrella Integrative Child Development Services-Anganwadi Services, PoshanAbhiyaan, Scheme for Juvenile Girls) have been given a budget of Rs 20,263 crore for the fiscal year 2022-23.
- For the Financial Year 2022-23, a budget of Rs 3,184 crore has been set aside for Mission Shakti (Mission for Women’s Empowerment & security).
- The budget for Mission Vatsalya (Child Protection Services and Child Welfare Services) has increased by 63.5 per cent from Rs 900 crore in FY 2021-22 to Rs 1,472 crore in FY 2022-
VI. ABOUT THE SCHEMES :
Saksham Anganwadis are a new genesis of anganwadis with enhanced infrastructure, as well as audio & visual aids 6, whilst being sustainable and offering a better atmosphere for child development at an early age. According to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget Address for 2022-23, the initiative will advance two lakh Anganwadi. Saksham Aanganwadi’s allocation of two lakh Anganwadi Centres to be reformed will improve positive milestones even further. As a result, it is critical to make sure that the aid reaches the youngest individuals and that their health and nutrition needs are met. The 1% hike in SakshamAnganwadi and Poshan 2.0 from 2021-22 BE to 2022-23 BE partly covers the demand for increased investment in primary nutrition mediation to a certain extent. More needs to be done to ensure adequate investment in children’s nutrition.
Mission Poshan 2.0
‘Mission Poshan 2.0′ is a Nutrition Support Programme launched in February 2021 which helps people eat better 7. It aims to solve the problems of childhood malnutrition, juvenile girls, expecting women, and breastfeeding moms through a deliberate shift in nourishing contents and delivery. It also focuses on the establishment of a uniform ecosystem to build and support health and immunity practices. Moreover, it aims to improve the nutritional quality and distribution of food through the Supplementary Nutrition Program. Addressing the challenges of malnutrition and promoting healthy eating habits for people’s welfare are some of the key strategies introduced to enhance the country’s human capital development8.
There are 3 major programmes included under ‘Poshan 2.0, namely ‘Anganwadi Services’, Scheme for Juvenile girls and Poshan Yojana. The central and state share of Mission
POSHAN 2.0 including Poshan Abhiyaan is Rs 1, 02,031 Crore and Rs ₹79,672 croresrespectively. However, the total implication is Rs. 1, 81,703 crore which puts forward the rise in the central share of Rs 10,108.76 crore approximately. The entire cost of Mission Poshan 2.0 has been computed using the government-approved ratio of cost sharing between the central government and the states/UTs, which is 60: 40 for states and Union Territories including the legislature. North East Region & Himalayan States and Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir receive 90:10, meanwhile, Union Territories excluding legislature receive 100 per cent9.
Women are crucial beings in giving rise to the transformational economic, environmental, and social changes that are important for persistent development. To reach this goal, it is unavoidable and important to continue schemes which are already existing with appropriate modifications, which can be accomplished through Mission Shakti. This mission foresees a consolidated citizen-focused lifecycle support system for women that not only includes seamless care and security for them but also favours recovery, and empowerment to liberate women as they go through different phases of life.
The two major sub-schemes which fall under Mission Shakti are ‘Sambal’ and ‘Samarthya’. ‘Sambal’ is representative of the safety and security of women whereas ‘Samarthya’ is representative of the empowerment of women10. The existing One Stop Centres (OSC), Helplines for Women (181-WHL), and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao schemes are exclusively included in the Sambal sub-scheme (BBBP). Moreover, women’s collectives have also been incorporated as a new component of Nari Adalats to promote and support alternate conflict resolution and gender justness in society as well as within the families. The ‘Samarthya’ sub-scheme aims to empower women by combining the existing Ujjwala, Swadhar Greh, and Working Women Hostel programmes. Initially, the Umbrella ICDS Scheme included the National Creche Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana which have now become a part of ‘Samarthya’. With a central portion of Rs 15761 crore and a state portion of Rs 5228 crore, Mission Shakti in totality has a financial impact of Rs 20,989 crore. The ‘Samarthya’ sub-scheme will be executed with a 60:40 funding ratio as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The ratio would be between the Central & State Governments/Union Territories which have a legislature, excluding the Northeast and Special Category States/UTs which will have the fund ratio of 90:10 including the legislature. A 100% funding will be offered by the Central Government to UTs which do not hold a legislature. From Rs. 12742 crores to Rs. 15761 crores, the Central share funding in totality disbursed under Mission Shakti has been increased by 24%.11
Children have been identified as one of the most valuable national assets by policymakers. If a society is apathetic about its youth, it endangers itself from having a ruinous and vicious youth. A garden’s trees and flowers must be pruned for it to appear beautiful and appealing. Otherwise, the trees and shrubs will go crazy, ruining the garden’s beauty and failing to produce proper blossoms. Similarly, to be beneficial to society, a child must be pruned of its primal instincts and trained properly. It can go haywire and become unproductive if appropriate and regular attendance is not given to the grooming of the youth. Children under the age of 18 make up 472 million people in India, accounting for 39% of the population.12 The objective of Mission Vatsalya is to ensure that every child in India has a healthy and happy childhood. It will also focus on encouraging children’s development by creating a sensitive, nurturing, and coordinated ecology. Lastly, it will assist States and Union Territories in carrying out the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 ‘s mandate and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The central and state share of Mission Vatsalya is Rs 6928 Crore and Rs 3988 crore respectively.13 However, the total financial implication is Rs 10916 crore. The entire allotment was Rs 3852 crore under the Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme in the last five years, indicating a 63per cent increase in the allotments that come under Mission Vatsalya when set in contrast to the CPS scheme.
The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan has got a 20.40 per cent funding increase, with a combined total of Rs 37383.36 crore in the financial year 2022-23, up from Rs 31050.16 crore in the Budget estimates stage of the Union Budget for 2021-22. This is a good step in ensuring learning consistency. One-on-one quality education as well as safe back-to-school are needed to enhance this initiative. It is indeed essential that the initiative reaches out to the most disadvantaged children who have restricted access to technology. The budget for Mission Vatsalya has been increased by 63.6 per cent (from 900 crores BE to 1472.17 crores BE) over the previous year. There is an anticipation of increased allotment within the components of the programme of non-institutional alternative care that is family-based, such as sponsorship and foster care, as a result of this increase. This is critical in light of the NCPCR’s announcement that 1.47 million children had been orphaned as a result of Covid- 19.
The establishment of Centres of Brilliance for the planning of urban areas in various regions is a positive move. This will aid in determining the region’s specific urban planning and performance improvement, as well as having a favourable impact on child’s well-being. Our cities are the most polluting in the world, thus focusing on clean mobility is a sensible idea. If it is executed in a timely manner, it will undoubtedly aid in the prevention of respiratory infections in children and those who are susceptible to them. The financial allocation for NCPCR has increased, whilst the budgetary allocation for NIPPCD has decreased, affecting the workforce development of the child protection staff.14 Moreover, MHA’s allotment of
300 crores which comes under the Women Help Desk/Heightening of Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau is an optimistic initiative, in hopes that it will be used to fund the establishment of new AHTUs or the maintenance of existing ones. However, it is essential to emphasise that the parliament has yet to pass an anti-human trafficking bill. Additionally, the courses related to Urban planning are a great move as they will help develop fresh expertise to better plan and devise cities. The institutions need to recognise the problems encountered by impoverished children, women, and disabled people in cities. They will focus on designing plans which are evidence-based and policies that will respond to the needs of a holistic policy for everyone’s progress.
Will it ameliorate the constraints faced by women and children?
Food and nourishment were emphasised in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget presentation to parliament this year. Children, on the other hand, may not benefit from nutritious food.
Children’s schemes, such as Poshan 2.0, which offers comprehensive perks to women and children, received no additional funding this year.
The Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) scheme has been allocated an estimated budget of Rs 10,234 crore for the fiscal year 2022-23. This programme, at one point called the ‘National Program of Midday Meal in Schools,’ provided hot cooked meals to schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 years.
Rs 20,263 crore was made available for the Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 schemes (umbrella Integrated Child Development Schemes that provide supplementary nutrition to children under the age of six). The revised estimate for last year was Rs 20,000 crore. Both amount to 0.5 per cent of the overall budget. Similarly, the allotment of the budget concerning the Pradhan Mantri Vandana Yojana has increased only marginally. This programme provides nutritious meals to pregnant and lactating women. The allocation for the scheme has been increased to Rs 2,622.11 crore in this budget, up from Rs 1,862 crore in the revised estimate for 2021-22. Last year, this amounted to 0.05 per cent of the total budget; this year, it amounts to 0.07 per cent of the total budget.15
- CURRENT STATUS OF WELFARE LEVEL OF WOMEN IN INDIA In the walk to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the administration has heralded a reborn age of “Nari shakti” under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s In this age, programmatic interventions demonstrate India’s gender mainstreaming successes, not just in text but also in spirit. Women are no longer the targets of unimaginative programs that confine them to their responsibilities as mothers and wives. Women are now powerful leaders, labour force contributors, and the lifeblood of Indian society.
Women’s empowerment has become a sine qua non for the Modi government’s goal of comprehensive national development. This has been accomplished through the development of a number of thoughtful policy measures. The ration card’s exclusive logic of identity — with its issue to the typically male householder — was superseded by Aadhaar, a universal authentication system. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was overhauled to provide a wider range of services for women’s ailments; its unjustified, male-preference cap of 5 beneficiaries per family was removed, and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was replaced (PM-JAY). PM-JAY provides healthcare to households with no adult male members, regardless of the size of the household.
- SUCCESS RATE OF THE WELFARE SCHEME INTRODUCED BY FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN TILL DATE
The “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” Abhiyan initiated by the Government has had a vast impact on society and the people. According to NFHS-5, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) has increased by 29 points from 991 (2015-16) to 1,020 (2019-21). According to UDISE data, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) of girls in secondary schools increased from 68.17 per cent in 2012-13 to 79.46 per cent in 2020-21; in fact, the GrossEnrollmentRatio for girls at both Secondary and Senior Secondary Levels increased more than that of boys between 2012-13 and 2019-20. Across all the 4881 Kasturba Girls School(s), 6.18 lakh enrolments have been recorded.
Under this scheme, 28,549 Girl Childs have been allotted 8.56 crore rupees for Secondary Education. Through the “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” abhiyaan, not only the birth ratio has gone up by 13 points but also the enrolments have increased drastically.
To facilitate working women, a generous revision to the previous 12 weeks stipulation was provided in the form of 26 weeks of maternity benefits for expecting mothers.
When the policies were launched by the Government, they did not have an immediate effect on them, but a few years down the line and it seems that a lot has changed regarding the Welfare of Women and Children. The government might have been working slowly, in the beginning, to put these schemes into action but eventually, the government did what it promised. Women have all the rights that they weren’t having previously. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana now has a preference for women recipients and as a result, 75% of the homeowners under this scheme are women.
The Girl Childs has had an increased enrolment in the schools for Secondary and Senior Secondary Education under the “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” Abhiyan which seemed next to impossible about a decade ago as people in the villages preferred a boy child and a girl child would be killed as soon as they were born. But these policies brought a spike in the birth ratio and education as well.
- Budget Speech 2022-23 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman – Union Budget Conference 2022-23
- Highlights from the Budget 2022-23
- The Union Budget Document
- Niti Aayog’s India Index Report
- Parliamentary Reports
- Umbrella Schemes of Ministry of Women and Child Development Press Release
- Major Schemes of WCD Press Release
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3The Economic Times, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/wcd-ministry-classifies- major-programmes-under-3-umbrella-schemes-for-better-implementation/articleshow/81390834.cms?from=mdr (last visited May 24 2022)
5Amrita Madhukalya, Budget for women, children shrinks, DECCAN HERALD, (May 20, 2022, 9:29 PM), https://www.deccanherald.com
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YOUTH AND SPORTS”, Press Release for the 338th Report on Demand and Grants (last visited May 22, 2022), https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/Committee_site/Committee_File/Press_ReleaseFile/16/162/497P_2022_3_18.pdf
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