Hyderabad: Money meant for women, should go to them only. In a novel initiative, the Telangana government is coming up with what it calls ‘gender budget’ which would be part of the 2018-19 annual budget to be introduced in Assembly and Council in the second week of March.
The state wants to utilise the funds for empowerment of women. Unless funds are clearly categorised as those meant for women, it might be difficult to make investments with a focus on helping fairer sex lead a life of dignity and honour.
Taking cue from the Union government, which has been practicing separate mention of funds for women in every wing in the annual budget proposals, the TS government decided to adopt the new method in the preparation of its 2018-19 budget.
In the new method, each department will create a separate head account in the budget under which the funds meant for women welfare will be mentioned. For instance, State Medical and Health department will mention the funds being allocated for KCR Kits to be distributed to the women who delivered babies in the government hospitals.
This method would be followed in respect of allocations for women under Aasra, pension scheme for women under Rural Development Department, girl beneficiaries under fee reimbursement scheme, single woman pension and separate funds for women under MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ).
At present, the departments are allocating funds without any gender preference in the budget. From now onwards, all the departments mainly BC, SC, ST and Minority and Education, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Medical and Health, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Agriculture will show on paper the allocations made for women in their respective budgets.
A top official in the state government said that the presentation of gender budget will not only help to earmark specific funds but also closely monitor the utilisation of funds for the wellbeing of women from time to time.
“Women constitute nearly 50 per cent of the total population in Telangana. The gender discrimination is still prevalent in society due to their socio and economic backwardness,” the official said, adding that the basic objective in introducing gender budget is to make an earnest effort to wipe out gender disparities in the allocation of funds.