Women in budget a study by prantakatha - sept 2010
A study OnGovernment fund allocation towards women & girls in West Bengal September 2010
The context:While working out an “assessment of counter trafficking work in West Bengal” somegaps surfaced that seeks answer to some very relevant questions. Planningcommission document puts “ensuring that at least 33 percent of the direct and indirectbeneficiaries of all government schemes are women and girl children” as a monitorablesocio economic target for 11th Five Year Plan (vide: An approach to 11 th Five YearPlan, Chapter 7 Box number 10). With the specifics laid down by Indian PlanningCommission on inclusion of Women agencies in development, this became excitingnews for civil society organizations & women right organizations. Surely that was anadvocacy brilliance which came out through intensive consultation with civil societyorganizations and rights groups. But at the same time it calls for more vigilance onthe part of civil society organizations to find out if the set programme practicallyreaching the end. Are women & girl children really getting the stated percentageallocation for them? The questions loom large when the previous researchmentioned depicts a darker reality from the Panchayets of seven districts of WestBengal. It shows that • There are hardly any schemes for girl children available at the grass root • There are hardly any participation of women & girls in Panchayet work Thus this puts us to the big question, to find out where are the 33% of resourceallocation meant for women & girls. Can we really find any application of thedirection that 11th Five Year Plan has asked to provide in state budget of WestBengal? If there is allocation at the state level, does that really go & manifest itself atgrass root? Does the highly acclaimed three tier panchayet system is efficientlyimplementing the vision & allocation decided at the state level?These are the questions that this study wanted to look at through different levels. Itat one end has looked into the state wise resource allocation through the budgetstudy of 2008-09. At the other end it went through survey done at 5 selected villagesat the Panchayet Level as well as at the Block level. The results create some deepconcerns which the civil society at large will bear at the end of this study.
The findings:The study has tried looking into the issue from 2 different perceptives: 1. The budgetary allocation towards women & girls in West Bengal State Budget 08-09 2. Fund distribution at rural level – both at Panchayet & at block levelPerceptive: • Two budget heads have been considered, one, “Actuals of 2007 -2008”. This gives the actual spending in the financial year of 2007 & 2008. This helps to understand what has been the actual spending in the year of 2007 & 2008. This helps developing an insight towards the decision towards allocation of funds towards different heads. Two, “revised estimates of 2008 & 2009”. This helps to understand that what has been the spending in 2008 – 2009. This again gives a picture of fund allocation in the financial year of 2008- 2009. Also these two years can show a pattern in the fund allocation. • In the inter-departmental fund allocation two issues have been taken care of to make analysis simple & easy to understand. Department wise fund allocation to the department of Social Welfare, Women & Child Development has been considered. It has been compared to that of overall budget of the government of West Bengal. The percentage share of this department which is considered to be the nodal department as far as work with NGOs & Voluntary Sector is concerned. At the same time Intra-departmental fund allocation of the department of Social Welfare, Women & Child Development has been considered to find out a comparative study between the support to organizations running institutional care for women & child & other agendas of the department
The budgetary allocation towards women & girls in West Bengal State Budget 08-09Stake of W&C and Sw in total budget & inter year comparisonThis section highlights the % of the above mentioned department in total budgetoutlay & the change in the allocation for the same department across 2007-08 &2008-09 a) Share of women & child development & social welfare in total budget in the actuals of 2007 -2008 & revised estimate of 2008 -2009Actuals 2007 -2008Grand Total (government A/c) 595078779Women Child & Social Welfare 2344836 (rupees in thousand)
Revised Estimate 2008-2009Grand Total (government A/c) 726076869Women Child & Social Welfare 3975660 (rupees in thousand)
This shows a meager allocation of budget to the department of Social Welfare,Women & Child Development which is considered to be the nodal department as faras work with NGOs & Voluntary Sector is concerned compared to the overall budgetallocation of Government of West Bengal over two consecutive years. This highlightsthe fact that although there has been an increase to the absolute amount of thebudget allocated to this important department, the pie of this department to that ofthe entire budget has remained to the same meager amount. This also highlights thatthere must be some policy decisions towards the allocation of the budget whichmakes the share of pie nearly same in two consecutive years. This calls for a greaterneed to research in to the policy decisions of the government.
b) Comparison between actual expenses incurred during 2007 -2008 & revised estimate of 2008 – 2009 on Women & child Development & Social Welfare DepartmentActual expenses for 2007-2008 2344836Revised estimate for 2008-2009 3975660 (rupees in thousand) The above diagram reiterates the fact that there has been an increase in thetotal/absolute amount of the fund allocation to the department mentioned. But thisin conjunction to the previous diagrams makes the point again clear that thepercentage allocation has been meager & similar.
c) Comparison between Centrally sponsored schemes in actual outlay 2007-2008 & revised estimate in 2008-2009 (Outside State Plan)Actuals 2007-2008 3946937Revised estimate 2008 -2009 4803000 (rupees in thousand)The above diagram explains that within the elements of the allocation to thedepartment, the part contribution under the heading of Centrally Sponsored Schemehas increased.
d) Comparison between central sector (new schemes) in actual expenses in 2007- 2008 & revised estimate 2008 -2009 (Outside State Plan)Actuals 2007 -2008 70237Revised estimate 2008-2009 45000 (rupees in thousand)
The above diagram explains that within the elements of the allocation to thedepartment, the part contribution under the heading of Central Sector (NewSchemes) has decreased. e) Comparison between State Plan (Tenth Plan Committed) in actual expenses in 2007-2008 & revised estimate 2008 -2009 (Outside State Plan)Actuals 2007 -2008 550Revised estimate 2008-2009 2298 (rupees in thousand)The above diagram explains that within the elements of the allocation to thedepartment, the part contribution under the heading of State Plan (Tenth PlanCommitted) has decreased.
Stake of Child Protection & related issues in the departmental budget of W&C andSW (Intra departmental comparison across actuals in 2007-2008 & revisedestimates of 2008-2009)This section investigates the share of pie among institutional care by voluntary sectorand the other relevant allocation within the departmental budget of the departmentof Social Development, Women & Child Development. This helps understanding thestake of NGOs working for providing care & protection to children & women to theoverall budget of the department. a) % of Grants in aid to voluntary organisaitons for welfare of children in need of care & protection in total departmental budget in actuals of 2007-2008Actuals 2007 -2008Total departmental budget 2344836Grant in aid to voluntary organisaitons 17846for welfare of children in need for care& protection (rupees in thousand)
b) % of Grants in aid to voluntary organisaitons for welfare of children in need of care & protection in total departmental budget in revised estimate of 2008- 2009Total departmental budget 3975660Grant in aid to voluntary organisaitons 31500for welfare of children in need for care& protection (rupees in thousand)
c) Comparison between fund allocation under “grant in aid to voluntary organizations for welfare of children in need of care & protection” across actuals of 2007-2008 & revised estimate of 2008-2009Actuals 2007-2008 17846Revised estimate 2008-2009 31500 (rupees in thousand)
The above three diagrams, a), b) & c) sums up the finding. These reveal the pointthat the share of pie to the voluntary sector working for the development as well ascare and protection of women & children receives very low attention from thegovernment. Diagram a) & b) clearly points out that the share of this head comparedto the total allocation of the department mentioned is meager and the percentageremains nearly static over two consecutive years. Though the absolute increase inthis head has happened among these two years, but the share remained nearly thesame. This points out to the fact that there must be some policy decisions whichmakes this allocation nearly constant. This like in the case of share of pipe of theabove mentioned department compared to the whole budget of government ofWest Bengal calls for an answer to why this allocation.
d) % of allocation towards establishment of ICDS projects in total departmental budget in actuals of 2007-2008 Actuals 2007 -2008Total departmental budget 2344836Establishment of ICDS projects 676000 (rupees in thousand) e) % of allocation towards establishment of ICDS projects in total departmental budget in revised estimates of 2008-2009 Actuals 2007 -2008Total departmental budget 3975660
Establishment of ICDS projects 910000The above two diagrams d) & e) shows the near biggest stake holder in thedepartmental budget of Social Welfare, Women & Child Development, that is ICDS.This is not to compete with ICDS but just to make an insight to the fact that thesupport to voluntary sector working for the wellbeing & care & protection ofChildren & Women is very little. At this junction this will also be pertinent to mentionthat in West Bengal the ICDS programme is primarily run by the political institutionsnot NGOs. This is also would not be out of context to mention that West BengalGovernment in its political approach consistently believed more in governmentinstitutions than civil society institutions. May be this allocation speaks of the sameattitude in financial terms. f) Comparison between fund allocation under “establishment of ICDS work ” across actuals of 2007-2008 & revised estimate of 2008-2009Actuals 2007-2008 676000
Revised estimate 2008-2009 910000 (rupees in thousand)The above diagram explains that within the elements of the allocation to thedepartment, the part contribution under the heading of the establishment of ICDSwork has increased in absolute amount. g) Vocational training for girls & women in government homesActuals 2007-2008Budget estimate 2008-2009 50Revised budget estimate 2008-2009 50Budget Estimate 2009-2010 30 (rupees in thousand)
h) Implementation of Swawlamban (NORAD)Actuals 2007-2008 600Budget estimate 2008-2009 1200Revised budget estimate 2008-2009 200Budget Estimate 2009-2010 1200 (rupees in thousand) The above two figures, under the g) & h) table shows anther situation. Both thetables talks about the support to civil society institutions working towardsbetterment of women & child and in particular these two tables show consecutiveallocation of government fund towards training to women & children who needs tobecome self reliant. In reality the NGOs running shelter homes receive nothing fromgovernment to make their inmates self trained. The consecutive fund allocation tothis segment from 2007-08 to 09-10 shows a pathetic condition which calls forimmediate attention.
1. Fund distribution at rural level – both at Panchayet & at block level The followings are the areas under one district 24 PGS (North) (bothPanchayet level & Block Level) a quick survey has been done to understand the fundallocation & women’s stake in it: 1. Ramchandrapur, Panchayet – Simulpur, Gaighata 2. Chikanpara, Panchayet – Ichapur2, Gaighata 3. Panchayet – Kalinagar 4. Sangrampur, Panchayet – Sibhati 5. Block – Basirhat I 6. Panchayet - Sayesta Nagar 7. Panchayet – Aturiya 8. Sutia – Panchayet – Sutia, GaighataFollowing are the questions that has been asked to the targets 1. What are the programmes you have at your village /block for girls & women? (please mention programmes under department heads) 2. How many women & girls are covered under these programmes? (please mention programme wise) 3. Apart from these the other development programmes you have, what percentage of those gets spend for women or if at all gets spend? 4. How many departments you have for panchayet or block development?
5. In last one year how many meeting of Panchayet Samity has been convened? 6. What has been the participation of women in those meetings? 7. What is the number of women engaged in your Panchayet? 8. What has been the participation of women politically in Panchayet affairs? 9. How many women panchayet heads have been elected in last 4 elections?Answers to the questions: 1. What are the programmes you have at your village /block for girls & women? (please mention programmes under department heads) a) Janai Sukhya Yojna b) Balika Samridhhi Yojna c) SGSY + SHG d) Child Nutrition e) Animal Husbandry f) NREGA g) India Abasan Yojna 2. How many women & girls are covered under these programmes?
Majority: more than 40% of the beneficiary are women3. Apart from these the other development programmes you have, what percentage of those gets spend for women or if at all gets spend? 6 out of 8 cases have said “we do not know”
4. How many departments you have for panchayet or block development? Majority: 5 out of 8areas have said that they know
5. In last one year how many meeting of Panchayet Samity has been convened? Majority: 5 out of 8 areas covered said “less than one a month”6. What has been the participation of women in those meetings? Majority: 5 out of 8 areas covered said “Few women participated”
7. What is the number of women engaged in your Panchayet? Majority: 6 out of 8 areas covered said “1-3”8. What has been the participation of women politically in Panchayet affairs? 4 out of 8 have said “few participated”, 2 said “very good” and 2 said “Good”
9. How many women panchayet heads have been elected in last 4 elections? Majority, 7 out of 8 areas surveyed said “2 – 4 “
Conclusion: Given the above information, flowing are the bullets: • Resource allocation towards women & child development in the context of total budgetary allocation is meager • Though there has been some increase in the absolute allocation towards this department from last financial year to current year, the relative stake of the same in total budget is abysmal • There has been a decline in the contribution from Central Sector “New schemes” in these two years • The State share in the FYP has been increased in current financial year • In the intra departmental budget distribution towards Grant in Aid to voluntary organisaitons has seen absolute increase between the last & current financial year, but the relative stake of this distribution to the whole departmental budget remained nearly the same • The majority of departmental spending goes towards ICDS work and therefore the stake of issues focused on children in need of care & protection gets very meager % • Vocational training to girls in homes receives nearly nil amount of financial support • At the grass root, the information towards knowing the allocation on women & children is clumsy & non transparent • Although there are some schemes towards women, very few gets directed to the beneficiary • Women participation towards decision making at Panchayet is still little
• Panahayet Samity Meetings are still very few infrequent• Still in electing women panchayet heads, resistance works