Rs 35,600 Crore outlay for nutrition-related Programmes for 2020-21
Rs 28,600 Crore allocated for programs specific to Women
Gross Enrolment Ratio of Girls exceeds that of Boys across all levels of education
Rs 85,000 Crore outlay for welfare of Scheduled Castes and other Backward Classes for 2020-21
Rs 53,700 Crore allocated for welfare of scheduled tribes for 2020-21
Rs 9500 Crore outlay for welfare of senior citizens and DIVYANG for 2020-21
Task force to be appointed to examine issue about age of girl entering motherhood
New Delhhi: Highlighting the importance of nurturing a caring society, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiled several key proposals with focus on women and child, and on social welfare, in the Union Budget 2020-21 presented in Parliament today.
Women and Child
In her Budget speech in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister said, “I am pleased to inform the House that ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ has yielded tremendous results. Gross enrolment ratio of girls across all levels of education is now higher than boys.” At elementary level, it is 94.32 % as against 89.28 % for boys, Smt. Sitharaman highlighted. Similar trends in gross enrolment ratio were also observed at Secondary and higher secondary levels, she added.
Emphasising on nutrition as a critical component on health, Smt. Sitharaman proposed to provide Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition-related programmes for the year 2020-21. She drew attention to the ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ which was launched in 2017-18 to improve the nutritional status of children (0-6 years), adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers. The Union Minister further said that more than six lakh anganwadi workers had been equipped with smart phones to upload the nutritional status of more than 10 crore households, which was an unprecedented development.
In her Budget speech, Smt. Sitharaman noted that with India’s progress, opportunities were opening up for women to pursue higher education and careers, and the entire issue about age of a girl entering motherhood, therefore, needed to be seen in a new light. She proposed to appoint a task force for this purpose which would present its recommendations in six months’ time.
Highlighting the government’s continued commitment to the welfare of women, the Finance Minister proposed an outlay of about Rs 28,600 crore for programs that were specific to women.
Addressing the issue of manual scavenging, the Finance Minister said, “Our government is determined that there shall be no manual cleaning of sewer systems or septic tanks. Suitable technologies for such tasks have been identified by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The Ministry is working with urban local bodies for the adoption of these technologies.” She proposed to take this effort to its logical conclusion through legislative and institutional changes along with provision of financial support for wider acceptance of such technologies.
The Finance Minister proposed a budget provision of about Rs 85,000 crore for 2020-21 to further the government’s commitment towards the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes.
In the Budget proposal, Smt. Sitharaman also provided an allocation of Rs 53,700 crore for the year 2020-21 for further development and welfare of Scheduled Tribes.
Further, keeping in mind the concerns of senior citizens and Divyang, the Finance Minister proposed an enhanced allocation of about Rs 9500 crore for 2020-21 in the Union Budget.