24 percent hike in allotment for women and child schemes

February 29th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Declaring that women were entitled to an “equal share and equal say” in all programmes, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday raised the allocation for women and children by 24 percent to Rs.72 billion in the union budget for 2008-09. “I confess that policymakers often tend to forget that one-half of the population is constituted by women and they are entitled to an equal share and an equal say in all programmes and schemes,” Chidambaram said in his budget speech.

Announcing a number of initiatives for women and children, he said four more ministries had set up gender budgeting cells, taking the total number to 54.

The minister kept aside Rs.334 billion for child related schemes.

An important scheme to be introduced is the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) to address the issue of child protection and build a protective environment for children through government-civil society partnership, for which an allocation of Rs.2 billion had been made.

A new scheme Ujjwala has been launched for prevention of trafficking with a provision of Rs.90 million.

A pilot scheme, “conditional cash transfer for girl child with insurance cover”, was also announced for which an outlay of Rs.90 million has been made.

Chidambaram announced Rs.114.6 billion for 100 percent women specific schemes and Rs.162.2 billion for schemes where at least 30 percent is earmarked for women-specific programmes.

Besides, LIC was being asked to extend the Janashree Bima Yojana to cover all women self-help groups that are credit-linked to the banks.

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