New Delhi: With a cut in their allocation for 2015-16, the Ministries of Women and Child Development and Health will soon approach the Finance Ministry to enhance their annual budget.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said in Lok Sabha that there has been 50 per cent cut in the budget for Integrated Child Development Services ICDS) and other areas of her Ministry in the 2015-16 budget.
"The budget cut in the Ministry is like any other areas in the government. I and the Health Minister will meet the Finance Minister soon after the Parliament session is over and request him to enhance our budgetary allocation," she said during question.
As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was sitting in the House, opposition members demanded that he should make a statement on the budget cut of an important ministry which deals with welfare of children and women.
However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not pay any heed to the demand of the opposition members.
Gandhi said the ICDS is a centrally sponsored and self-selecting scheme. The scheme is open to all children in the age group of six months to six years. There are 14 lakh sanctioned Anganwadi Centre (AWCs) in the country of which 13.42 lakh AWCs are optional as on December 31, 2014.
In the optional 13.42 lakh AWCs, there are 12.45 crore children (0-6 years) as per Anganwadi survey register. Out of these, 8.42 crore children (6 months to 6 years or around 67.67 per cent) are availing services under the ICDS scheme.
Gandhi said ICDS scheme provides an integrated package of six services comprising of supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, nutrition and health education, immunisation, health check up and referral services.