Skip to main content

Decline in Union budget for eradicating child labour, encouraging girl child schemes

By Our Representative
A child rights civil society organization has regretted that though 37 per cent of the country’s population are children, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman finance minister, did not refer to children at all in her speech in Parliament. Worse, said the Haq Centre for Child Rights (HCCR), the share of budget for children (BfC) in the Union Budget “has not been increased.”
This has happened despite the fact that the “Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report 2019” ranked India 113th of 176 countries in the childhood index. The analysis had found in India about 38% of children under five are stunted, which is “the second-worst performance in the region, the worst being Pakistan (40.8%). China was the best with 6% stunted children, followed by Nepal (13.8%), Sri Lanka (17.3%), Bangladesh (17.4%) and Bhutan (19.1%).
Pointing out that “despite efforts at giving free universal education, about 20% of children (aged 8-16) were still out of school as of 2018”, the HCCR analysis titled “Children in the Trillion Dollar Economy”, said, “The share for children in this budget remains at 3.2 percent of the total Union Budget, which is less than the equally low share that the National Plan of Action for Children 2016 had recommended.”
The HCCR analysis said, “Over the years this commitment has got diluted and the percentage of child budget has been continuing going down after it was 5.71 per cent in 2008–09”, insisting, child budget should be “at least 5 per cent of the Union Budget”.
It added, “The share of all the sectors, except child protection has been falling over the years. This can be traced back to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations, which said that the responsibility for allocating for children now is largely with the states.”
The analysis further stated, “While there are some major cutbacks, the reduction in the budget for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) and Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is because of the creation of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan with an allocation of Rs 36,322 crore.”
Pointing out that this scheme is “meant to include teacher education”, the analysis said, “It has witnessed a total increase of Rs 5,109.49 crore, which is an increase of 16.4 per cent (calculated based on allocations for SSA, RMSA and teacher training last year)”, wondering, “Does that herald the right to compulsory education being extended to secondary education and 18 years?” 
BfC: Budget for Children. Int: Interim, FB: Full Budget
The analysis said, while the finance minister talked of “Naari tu Naarayani”, the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign has been allocated the same as the previous financial year – Rs 280 Crore. This has happened despite the fact that the Economic Survey 2018-19 recommended “incorporating insights from behavioural economics to change behaviour, giving credit to initiatives such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for improving child sex ratios, particularly in large states where the child sex ratio was poor.”
The survey had claimed that the campaign “had the maximum impact in states that plausibly also needed the greatest pivot in their social norms”, even though facts show otherwise: Niti Aayog’s latest data on sex-ratio at birth “suggests a decline in 18 out of the 21 states for which data is analysed”, the analysis asserted.
Continued the civil society analysis, “With a new law enacted to address child labour, one would have expected to see resources being placed to ensure that there is elimination of child labour. Instead it is depressing to see the cutback in allocations for the only programme in the country addressing child labour – the improvement in working conditions of child/women labour (NCLP or National Child Labour Project) has been reduced by over 16 per cent.” 
“NCLP is the only scheme focused on addressing child labour in the country. It is a central sector scheme where 100% of the funding is provided by the Government of India through the Ministry of Labour and Employment”, the analysis contended.
The analysis continued, though an online portal, PENCIL, was launched on September 26, 2017 “for better monitoring and reporting system to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the amended Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and the National Child Labour Project (NCLP)”, the cost of implementing PENCIL as per the 2016 annual budget norms is just Rs 30 lakh per district. 
“This amounts to Rs 84.98 crore for 319 districts under PENCIL, assuming that all 319 districts do not have a vehicle, otherwise the cost would further go up”, the analysis said, adding, “With the NCLP budget going down in 2019-20, it only reinforces lack of commitment to address the problem and assumes that children working in family enterprises require no monitoring.”
No doubt, said the analysis, some schemes do see “substantial increase.” Thus, “there is a 1,400 per cent increase for scheme for boys’ hostel from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and 107 per cent increase in budget for the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) is very welcome.”
However, the analysis added, “In all probability the cost of child protection has gone up over the years with the cost every other service escalating.”
Then, said the analysis, “While the budget for anganwadi Services has increased from Rs 16,334.88 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 19,834.37 crore in 2019-20, the target set for number of anganwadis sanctioned in 2019-20 remains the same. Despite a 21.4 per cent increase in the allocation for anganwadi services, the only expected output is operationalisation of an additional 20,000 anganwadis.”

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people.