Gender Budgeting has been pitched as a tool to rectify the gender inequity and ensure that benefits of socio-economic development reach women as much as men. India has had a Gender Budget component in the Union Budget since 2005-06. The Gender Budget statement comprise of two parts: A and B. While Part A highlights the Women Specific Schemes, with 100% allocation for women, Part B includes schemes where at least 30% of the allocation is for women.
While the Gender Budget has risen in absolute terms in 2022-23, it has shrunk as a percentage of total Budget expenditure. Following are 10 key takeaways from this year’s Gender Budget:
A total of Rs 1,71,006.47 crore has been allocated for women-centric schemes under both parts of the Gender Budget. This is an over 11% increase from Rs 1,53,326.28 crore allocated in the 2021-22 Budget Estimates.
However, as a percentage of total expenditure, gender budget has marginally declined from 4.4% in 2021 to 4.3% this year. For an additional perspective, Gender Budget was 4.72% of the total expenditure in 2020 – the pre-pandemic Budget.
Women-centric schemes under Part A have been allocated Rs 26,772.89 crore. This is a marginal 6% rise from the last Budget, when Rs 25,260.95 crore was allocated.
Part B, which includes schemes with significant focus on women, continues to have a larger share in the Gender Budget allocation. Rs 1,44,233.58 crore has been allocated for Part B schemes, which is 84% of the total Gender Budget allocations.
The Part B component this year has seen a 12% hike compared to last year, when Rs 1,28,749.83 crore was earmarked.
Two urban schemes – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and Deendayal Antodya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) – together get Rs 23,405.06 crore while two rural development ministry schemes – National Rural Livelihood Mission-Aajeevika and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – get Rs 32,668.21 crore. These four schemes comprise nearly 39% of Part B.
Two schemes of the rural development ministry – ‘Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana’ and Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme – comprise 82% of the Part A.
Women safety schemes under ‘SAMBAL’ – One Stop Centre, Mahila Police Volunteer, Women’s Helpline, ‘Swadhar’, ‘Ujjawala’, Widow Homes – have seen a decline in allocation from Rs 587 crore in Budget 2021 to Rs 562 crore this year.
In Part A, ‘SAMARTHYA’, which includes flagship schemes like ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ and ‘Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana’, has seen a hike of over Rs 105 crore from last year, rising from Rs 2,432 crore to Rs 2,547.11 crore.
‘SAMBAL’ and ‘SAMARTHYA’ together constitute the umbrella scheme ‘Mission Shakti’, which aims to protect and empower women. ‘Mission Shakti’ has been allocated a little over Rs 3,100 crore in this year – a marginal rise of less than Rs 100 crore from 2021.