Children's share in 2022 Budget plummets to 11 year low
- Children in the country received the lowest share of allocation in the Budget in 11 years, according to an analysis by the NGO, HAQ-Centre for Child Rights.
- The total allocation for children in Union Budget 2023 is ₹92,736.5 crore, against an allocation of ₹85,712.56 crore in the last Budget.
- Though this is an increase of 8.19% in absolute terms, it’s not proportionate to the increase in the total expenditure in the Union Budget.
- The share of the Budget for children is a meagre 2.35% of the Union Budget for the next fiscal, which is a reduction of 0.11 percentage points from this fiscal, says HAQ.
- This is the lowest share children have received in the last 11 years.
Provisions in the Budget
- The allocation for child health has decreased by 6.08%.
- It has dropped from ₹3,727.57 crores in 2021-2022 to ₹3,501.11 crores for the next fiscal.
- One of the most important child health schemes, the NRHM-RCH Flexi Pool, has observed a reduced allocation of 8.22% at ₹3,174.57 crores in the Union Budget 2022-23.
- As far as child development programs are concerned, they have seen a drop of 10.97% in allocation for the next fiscal at ₹17,826.03 crore. These include supplementary nutrition and Anganwadi (daycare) services.
- The share of child education in the overall Union Budget 2022-23 has witnessed only a marginal increase of 0.3 percentage points from 1.74% in the current fiscal to 1.73% for the next fiscal.
- However, in absolute terms, the allocation has increased by 15.04% with ₹69,835.72 set aside, notes HAQ.
- ‘One class, one TV channel' program has been increased from 12 to 200 TV channels to enable States to provide supplementary education in regional languages for Classes 1 to 12, studies have shown this is a difficult mode of learning for children.
- Schemes for the protection and welfare of children clubbed under the Mission Vatsalaya of the Ministry of Women and Children received ₹1,472.17 crores. This is 65% more than this fiscal, but below the allocation of ₹15,000 crores in 2019-2020, before the scheme was restructured.
- The FM said nearly two lakh anganwadis will be upgraded and will be “new generation anganwadis that have better infrastructure and audio-visual aids, powered by clean energy and providing an improved environment for early child development.”
- However, the Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 scheme, under which these works will be carried out, have received a negligible hike of 0.7%.
- Special budgetary provisions have to be made for the promotion of child rights.
- Government has to ensure that credible data is available at all levels about missing, illiterate, and malnourished children.
- Efforts need to be made to ensure that every child reaches his/her full potential free from any and all forms of exploitation and abuse.