Funds for women and child development hiked 50 percent

New Delhi, Feb 26 (Calcutta Tube) India will allocate Rs.11,070 crore (Rs.110 billion/nearly $24 billion) for women and child development programmes in 2010-11, a hike of nearly 50 percent from the last fiscal, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced Friday.

‘I propose to step up the plan outlay for women and child development by almost 50 percent. Several new initiatives that were launched in 2009-10 are now ready for implementation,’ Mukherjee said while presenting 2010-11 budget in the Lok Sabha.

Last year, the government spent Rs.8,624 crore on women and child development (WCD) programmes.

The budget has also sharply hiked the WCD ministry’s funds for the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls to a whopping Rs.900 crore from last year’s Rs.45 crore.

The Integrated Child Protection Scheme launched last year will see a six-fold increase in allocation to Rs.270 crore from Rs.44 crore. The scheme for young children tries to create institutional services, delivery structures, sponsored and foster care services, as well as emergency child helpline and tracking system.

The conditional maternity benefit scheme or the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) has been allotted Rs.351 crore, up from last year’s Rs.90 lakh.

The ministry’s scheme for setting up creches to help working women — the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers — has been allocated Rs.63 crore, a third less than last year’s funding.

Several new initiatives will also be implemented to benefit women farmers and more money will be invested in setting up working womens’ hostels across the country.

‘A Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana to meet the specific needs of women farmers is being launched. I have provided Rs.100 crore for this initiative as a sub-component of the National Rural Livelihood Mission,’ the finance minister said.

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