CHILD WELFARE PROGRAMMES IN BUDGET 2012-13

Allocations for key child welfare programmes fall short of requirements

March 16, 2012, New Delhi: CRY – Child Rights and You expressed its deep reservations about the grossly inadequate provisions made by the union government for important child welfare programmes and schemes in the union budget 2012-13.

With atleast 8.1 million children in 6-14 age group currently out of school, the allocation for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) at. Rs. 8292.64 crore is inadequate. SSA is the main vehicle for implementing the RTE Act at the grassroots level. Economic Survey 2011-12 that was presented in parliament on Wednesday has already acknowledged huge deficiencies vis-a-vis various indicators mentioned in the Act. An increase of 16.86 per cent in SSA allocation for 2012-13 as compared to the revised budget estimates for SSA in 2011-12 is just not enough to meet the challenges.

In the case of another important education scheme – Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Kosh – the budgetary allocation for 2012-13 is Rs. 2811.60 crore. Though this is an

increase of 29 per cent from an allocation of Rs. 2179.11 crore in 2011-12 (revised budget estimates), it still does not cover the shortfall created in the 11th Five Year due to less allocations in the five financial years of the 11th Plan.

The gross budgetary support for this scheme for the 11th Plan (2007-12) was Rs. 22620.00 crore. But the allocation in the budgets of the 11th Five Year Plan period was only Rs. 5985.90 crore resulting in a massive shortfall of Rs. 17634.10 crore.

The allocations for the Mid Day Meal for 2012-13 is Rs. 3707.55 crore which is an increase of only Rs. 838.47 crore from an allocation of Rs. 2869.08 crore from the revised budget estimates of 2011-12. This does not even cover the shortfall in the allocations in the 5 years of 11th Five Year Plan, which was Rs. 9085.60 crore. The gross budgetary support for 11th Five year plan was Rs. 48000 crore, whereas the allocations in those five years was only Rs. 38914.40 crore, resulting in a shortfall of Rs. 9085.60 crore.

Child Protection has also remained a neglected area. The main scheme to address the issues of child protection – Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS ) has been allocated only Rs.360 crore. This appears as a substantial increase when compared with the allocation of Rs. 186.40 crore at the revised estimate stage of 2011-12. But the allocation in 2011-12 itself was highly inadequate.

This allocation does not cover the massive shortfall in the allocation for the same during the previous financial years of 11th Five Year Plan. The gross budgetary support for the same in the 11th Five year Plan was Rs. 1118 crore and an allocation of only Rs. 549.85 crore thereby makes it a shortfall of Rs. 568.15 crore.

Speaking about the budgetary allocations, Puja Marwaha, CEO CRY – Child Rights and You said, “The state of children in the country has been a great cause of concern and this was publicly acknowledged by the senior members of the government on various fora recently, but this concern is not reflected in terms of budgetary allocations. It is a

disappointment for millions of Indian children whose rights are violated everyday and what they need is that the nation gives highest priority to their issues.”

For more information, please contact Arun Anand: arun.anand@crymail.org or call +91 11 3017 4700.

Note to the Editor:
CRY – Child Rights and You (formerly known as Child Relief and You) is an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s right to a childhood – to live, learn, grow and play. For over 30 years, CRY and its partners have worked with parents and communities to ensure Lasting Change in the lives of more than 20 Lakh underprivileged children. For more information please visit us at http://www.cry.org/