NEW DELHI: Rs 29,000 crore has been set aside for the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry for the next fiscal, a 20 per cent increase over the 2018-2019 financial year with the Centre's programmes of maternity benefit and child protection services getting a major boost in the Budget announced Friday.
The allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a maternity benefit programme, was more than doubled to Rs 2,500 crore from Rs 1,200 crore. The programme provides Rs 6,000 each to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The Child Protection Services programme under the Integrated Child Development Services was increased to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 925 crore.
WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi said that she will prepare a roadmap for her ministry for the next five years, wherein integrated large facilities will be established across the country for women and children in need of care and protection.
Rs 29,164.90 crore has been earmarked for the WCD ministry for the next financial year, a 20 per cent increase over the Rs 24,758.62 crore allocated to it last year. A major chunk of it -- Rs 19,834.37 crore -- is for anganwadi services.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' will get Rs 280 crore as compared to Rs 200 crore in the current financial year.
The National Nutrition Mission, which strives to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low-birth weight babies and aims to benefit 10 crore people across the country, was allocated Rs 3,400 crore. The allocation for the Mahila Shakti Kendras has been increased to Rs 150 crore.
In total, the centrally sponsored schemes got a boost of Rs 4,400 crore to Rs 28,914.
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 in creches while they are out at work.
Similarly, the budget for Working Women's Hostel scheme has been increased more than three times from Rs 52 crore to Rs 165 crore (BE 2019-20).
With all the components of Mahila Shakti Kendras scheme having been put in place, the budget for this scheme has been increased from Rs 115 crore to Rs 150 crore.
On the issue of providing for safety for all women, the budget for UJJAWALA (WCD Ministry's scheme for rescued trafficked women) has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore.
Similarly, the budget for widows' homes has also been increased from Rs 8 crore to Rs 15 crore.
Effectively, the total budget under the Mission for Protection and Empowerment of Women stands increased from Rs 1,156 crore to Rs 1,330 crore.