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#budget 2022| India's 17th Gender Budget

Gender Budgets have become an important fiscal tool to advance gender equality. Here is a quick snapshot of what Gender Responsive Budgeting is all about:

In the latest gender budget announced on 1st Feb, Rs 1,71,006.47 crore has been allocated for women-centric schemes.
Read the Gender Budget Statement 2022-23 here:

@shrutiambast, @aishwarya- what are your thoughts on this year’s gender budget?

  1. For 2022-23, the total budget outlay reported in the GBS is 4.3 per cent of the total Union Budget, which marks a decline over the previous year.
  2. The Union Budget outlay reported in the GBS has increased by 11.5 per cent, from Rs 1,53,326.3 crore in 2021-22 (BE) to Rs 1,71,006.5 crore in 2022-23 (BE). This is largely due to increased allocaons for composite expenditure schemes under Part B rather than increased outlays for Part A schemes targeted exclusively at women.
  3. A push was required for boosting women’s labour force participation. However, the allocations for MGNREGS remained the same as in 2021-22 (BE). Additionally, allocations for credit guarantee schemes targeted at least partially at women have declined between 2021-22 (BE) and 2022-23 (BE). These include the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (from Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 100 crore) and Stand Up India (from Rs 100 crore to Rs 0.01 crore).
  4. Social protection for women workers must be prioritised. Anganwadi workers and helpers were recently included among the beneficiaries of health insurance under the PM Garib Kalyan Package. But allocations for this scheme have been slashed from Rs 813.6 crore in 2021-22 (RE) to Rs 226 crore in 2022-23 (BE).
  5. Investments in women’s health must be stepped up, but allocations for POSHAN 2.0 have risen only marginally.
  6. Trends of underfunding and underutilisation of the Nirbhaya Fund must be curbed, especially in the light of increased sexual and gender-based violence during the pandemic. Several key schemes addressing violence against women, such as One Stop Centres, Women Helpline, Swadhar Greh, Ujjawala and Working Women Hostel, were subsumed under the umbrella schemes Sambal and Samarthya last year. The allocation for Samarthya has been marginally increased to Rs 2,622.1 crore in 2022-23 (BE), while that for Sambal has declined from last year by over 4.2 per cent to Rs 562 crore. More resources need to be made available to address the rise in violence and enable women’s empowerment.
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Thanks, @aishwarya, for such a detailed review of the GBS. The trends of underfunding are indeed concerning, especially given the deterioration of women’s safety.