In absolute terms, the total outlay for children has increased by 8 per cent in the Budget Estimates of 2022-23 as compared to the 2021-22 (BE). However, as a percentage of the total Union Budget, the reported allocations for children have shown a decline, from 2.46 per cent in 2021-22 (BE) to 2.35 per cent in 2022-23 (BE).
Among the different ministries/departments that have reported into the Child Budget Statement of this year, interventions from the Ministry of Women and Child Development have recorded a decline of 7.6 per cent. A similar trend can be observed in the child-focused outlays from the Department of Health and Family Welfare (decrease of 6 per cent). On the other hand, allocations reported from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have shown a jump of almost 95 per cent, with a substantial rise in allocations for the Post-Matric Scheme in 2022-23 (BE) from the previous year’s Budget Estimates. Allocations for the Department of School Education and Literacy have also increased by 11.6 per cent.
Overall, the child budget this time, has been a mixed bag with allocations increasing in some sectors and decreasing in others. But considering the immense adverse impact of the pandemic on various facets of the lives of children, there should have been a significantly higher increase in all child specific spending.