Budget boost for women, child development programmes

March 16th, 2012 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) India Friday sought to secure the welfare of its women and children by proposing a 45 percent hike in the annual budget for the related ministry.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in the general budget presented to Lok Sabha, increased the budgetary outlay to Rs.18,584 crore ($3.6 billion) for 2012-13 from Rs.12,733 crore ($2.5 billion) proposed in 2011-12.

Of this, Rs.18,500 crore will go toward the annual plan outlay and the rest Rs.84 crore will be utilised for non-plan expenditure.

The total amount allocated for child welfare was pegged at Rs.15,604.38 crore ($3 billion) and for women welfare at Rs.16,463.06 crore ($3.3 billion).

Among the mission for empowerment of child development, the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS), a programme for early childhood care and development, has been given a sizeable increase of 58 percent from Rs.10,000 crore in 2011-12 to Rs.15,850 crore in 2012-2013.

“The ICDS is being strengthened and re-structured,” Mukherjee said.

Under the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA, it has been proposed to spend Rs.750 crore.

“Protein deficiency among women and children is one of the common sources of malnutrition in India. I propose to reduce basic customs duty on soya protein concentrate and isolated soya protein from 30 percent to 15 percent,” Mukherjee informed in his budget speech.

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