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State Policies for social welfare

What are some policies state governments can implement in the progressive fields like
income equality, gender equality, climate change keeping in mind the resource
constraints induced by pandemic?

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Thanks Madhav.

@Nilachala @happy @protiva @malini_chakravarty @shrutiambast @jyotsna_g @simonti-chakraborty Please share your thoughts on this.

Dear @madhavtipu96 ,

Posting some thoughts on this issue, as shared by our colleague @happy :

To address livelihood insecurity of urban workers, States can design and launch urban employment programmes, prioritising women workers. In places where women have attained high levels of education but are unable to find gainful employment, such a scheme could include skilled work in its ambit.
Three states- Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, and Jharkhand took up the initiative and launched state schemes in 2020. Urban employment guarantee schemes already exist in Kerala and West Bengal.

In addition, MGNREGS continues to have a sustained relevance in addressing income inequality. It already mandates equality of wages for men and women.

Hope to receive more inputs on this.

Sharing some thoughts on State policies for gender equality. Given the contraction of resources for key Central schemes for women in the previous Union Budget, States are facing a larger onus than before. Many States have responded by introducing new schemes for women. West Bengal introduced Lakshmir Bhandar, under which unemployed women, not receiving any pension, are entitled to cash transfers. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, HP have also launched new, incentive-based schemes for women. In addition to such targeted initiatives, States must also adopt a gender mainstreaming approach, wherein ALL schemes and programmes are vetted and monitored from a gender angle. This will involve intensive capacity-building across processes of planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring. Kerala has found some success with this approach: women’s employment is being prioritised across sectors and the workforce participation rate has seen an improvement.

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Sharing some thoughts on State policies for climate change : State Governments bear the onus of implementing climate related policies. They should avoid a return to “business as usual" and following environmentally destructive policies due to the current stress on public finances. While strategizing, State policies should consider the long term co-benefits that can be brought in by climate actions for society and help in building resilience to sudden shocks such as livelihood creation, skilling for green jobs, improving living conditions with clean air etc. Climate change concerns must be mainstreamed in public financing decisions. In the past, most of the states have released their “State Action Plan on Climate Change” and few of them also released "Climate Responsive Budgeting Statement” or “Green Budgets” as supplementary statements with their state budgets, however it remains to be seen how they continue their commitment . Few links for such documents are given below:

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