WCD ministry sees 20% increase in budget, maternity, ICDS schemes given priority

New Delhi, Feb 2 : In the 2019-20 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has been allocated with Rs 29,165 crore, an increase by Rs 4,856 crore which is almost 20 per cent higher than the previous year.

Under the centrally sponsored schemes, many policies have been allocated with more funds as compared to last year like the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana which was launched in October, 2017.

The allocation under this scheme has been more than doubled from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.

Like last year, a major chunk in this year's Budget was earmarked for the ICDS programmes which saw an increase of almost Rs 4,500 crore, from Rs 23,088 crore to Rs 27,584 crore.

The main priorities under the ICDS were given to schemes like Anganwadi Services which was increased to Rs 19,834 crore from Rs 16,334 and National Nutrition Mission which was given a rise of more than Rs 400 crore -- from Rs 2,928 crore to Rs 3,400 crore.

The allocation for the National Creche Scheme has been enhanced from Rs 30 crore to Rs 50 crore which will enable working women to safely leave their children while they are out at work.

Similarly, the Budget for Working Women's Hostel scheme has been increased to more than three times from Rs.52 crore to Rs 165 crore.

For the Mahila Shakti Kendras scheme, the budget has been increased from Rs 115 crore to Rs 150 crore.

The Budget for the UJJAWALA scheme (WCD Ministry for rescued trafficked women) has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore.

Similarly, the budget for the widow's homes has also been increased from Rs 8 crore to Rs 15 crore.

"The increase in funds will help the ministry to vigorously fight malnutrition and provide more efficient facilities for protection of women and children.

The ministry will be preparing a roadmap for the next five years wherein integrated large facilities will be established for women and children in need of care and protection across the country," said Union WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi.



Source: IANS