Gandhinagar: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has observed "significant deficiencies" by the Gujarat government in implementing its schemes for protection and welfare of female children.
The CAG report, for the year 2013-14 tabled in the Gujarat Assembly today, noted that the Gujarat State Child Protection Society (GSCPS) had not formulated its State Child Protection Policy and State Plan of Action, as a result of which the Gujarat state government failed in setting goals and establishing accountability of the departments meant for child protection and welfare services.
In CAG's audit report of this social sector, it has been observed that Gujarat's gender ratio has actually declined further.
"As per Census 2011, the trend of overall sex ratio of the state (Gujarat) has declined (from 920 girls to 919 girls), though the all-India ratio had improved from 933 girls to 943 girls per 1,000 boys as compared to Census 2001," the CAG social sector performance audit said.
The CAG report noted that the sex ratio at birth in 15 out of 26 districts in Gujarat declined in 2013 as compared to 2012 as per data gathered from the Civil Registration System.
The CAG report expressed dissatisfaction on the steps taken by the Gujarat government to stop female foeticide in the state.
"Out of a total 181 cases filed under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act, only 49 cases were finalised as on March 2014 and out of these 49 cases finalised, the accused were convicted only in six cases.
"The pendency period of these cases ranged from one year to 12 years," the CAG report said. (MORE) The CAG also noted that the Gujarat state government did little in bringing the culprits involved in child marriages to justice.
"Out of 659 complaints on child marriages received during 2009-14, court cases were filed only in 15 cases (two per cent) and not a single person was convicted in Gujarat," the CAG report stated.
"In cases of pre-marriage complaints received, though sufficient evidences like marriage cards and birth certificates had been collected by District Child Marriage Prohibition Officers, sufficient follow-up action as required under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 had not been taken," the CAG report stated.
The CAG also made a strong observation about the deaths of abandoned baby girls in the state.
"Not a single Specialised Adoption Agency (SSA) was nominated as a Cradle Baby Reception Centre in Gujarat to rescue abandoned baby girls. There were 216 baby girls found dead during 2009-14.
Some of these deaths could have been avoided if reception centres were nominated," the CAG report stated.