Gender Budgeting in State Budgets                            By Dr. Vibhuti Patel                               Director, ...
*social services (budgetary provision for education, health, crèche, working  women’s hostels, fuel, fodder, water, housin...
*Right to information*Inclusion of gender economists in pre-budget workshops that should be held  around October so that t...
* It has also been made compulsory for the district rural bodies to record   complete details of expenditure incurred unde...
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Gender budgeting in state budgets 12 9-06


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Gendering of Public Policies in pre & post 1975 India: An Overview

In the post independent India, in the first quarter, important documents that expressed gender awareness were Constitution of India and Five Year Plan Documents. The former guaranteed fundamental rights (Equality, voting right and five freedoms) to all Indian women irrespective of their class, caste, religious and ethnic backgrounds but also allowed differential treatment of women on the basis of their class, caste, religious and ethnic backgrounds through religion based personal laws and thousands of customary laws. Rights, the state gave with one hand were snatched by its other hand. The Planning Commission, with its faith in “trickle down theory” and perspective of viewing “women as beneficiaries of the economy” mostly came up with welfare policies for women’s upliftment. In this framework, the movement of concepts, policies, strategies was top-down, women’s agency was missing. The period soon after independence saw the earliest institutional structures for women’s advancement set up by the state. They were the Central and State Social Welfare Boards situated outside the bureaucratic structure. Although imbued with the idea of welfare perspective vis-à-vis women, the Boards did foster women’s leadership and made the state accountable to them. This was achieved, to a large extent under the vision and leadership of Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh. However, over the years, The Boards carried out only funding and programmatic functions.

In 1972, as per the UN directive, the Committee on the Status of Women was constituted to prepare an in-depth report and within two years, TOWARDS EQUALITY Report was tabled in the Parliament. It was a landmark contribution of an interdisciplinary team of academicians, researchers, bureaucrats and policy-makers who were influenced by “Women in Development “ approach popularised by Esther Boserup in her pioneering research of the African society. The report, for the first time, brought out into the open the fact that women were active producers in the house holds in the vast unorganised sectors of the economy and that their contribution had to be made visible. The declaration of 1975 as the International Women’s Year and the decade 1975-1985 as International Decade of Woman also impacted on the perspective about women.

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Gender budgeting in state budgets 12 9-06

  1. 1. Gender Budgeting in State Budgets By Dr. Vibhuti Patel Director, PGSR Professor and Head, P.G. Department of Economics, S.N. D. T. Women’s University, Mumbai E mail: Mobile- 9321040048 Phone-91-022-27770227 Gender Commitments translated into Budgetary Commitments*Transparency/accountability for revenue generation & public expenditure*Reprioritisation in public spending*Lift the veil of statistical invisibility of the unpaid ‘care economy’*Equality &efficiency dimension*Transform macro policyBudgetary Allocation for 2003-4 Budget Allocations for 2005-6, Expenditure Budget, Vol II Website:http://indiabudget.nic.inBudget Allocations for 2006-7, Expenditure BudgetTotal Allocation for DWCD- Rs. 4852.94 croresGender Budgeting Analysis of Different States in India:* the means adopted by different states to finance budgets-burden of indirect taxes mostly bourn by the common citizens.*Case studies of the state budget of Maharashtra (Pandey, Kanchi, Akolkar, 2004 and Parikh, Acharya, Krishnaraj, 2004)*Midday Meal Scheme Tamilnadu (Swaminathan, Jeyaranjan, Sreenivasan & Jayashree, 2004)*Bottom-up budget by involving women elected representatives of the PRIs in Karnataka (Bhat, Kolhar, Chellappa and Anand, 2004)* and comparative analysis of development and social sector expenditures of 13 Indian states with that of West Bengal (Banerjee and Roy, 2004)gender differential impact of*protective and welfare services (pension for widow and destitute women, budget for shelter homes and rehabilitation center for women victims of violence) 1
  2. 2. *social services (budgetary provision for education, health, crèche, working women’s hostels, fuel, fodder, water, housing, sanitation, nutrition-mid day meal)*regulatory services (state commissions for women and women’s cell in the police stations, government departments)*awareness generation programmes.State Government Initiatives*Karnataka-Bottom Up budgets*Rajasthan-Right to Information- monitoring of financial allocation by NGOs*West Bengal-Gender Economists consulted by the Planning Department*Kerala- Fourty % of total allocation for PRI & 10 % of PRI budget to women*Assam- Capacity building*Orissa- women’s component in social Sector budget*Tamilnadu-Mid Day Meal Scheme, Cradle baby schemeGoa-Tourism driven budgetMaharashtra- Drastic reduction in social sector budgetUnutilised Funds*Faulty design*Bureaucratic hassles*Rigidity of schemes/programmes*Need for State for Women with flexibility to address region specific needs/demands of women*Unattended Issues- financial allocation for Swadhar scheme for destitute women (62 % non-utilisation) Implementation of PCPNDT Act, Workers in SEZ, EPZ, FTZ, Farmers suicide & starvation deaths, social security for old women, displaced & relocated population, Female headed households*Lack of political willDemands of Women’s Groups*Separate listing of women specific items in the budget*Gender disaggregated data by the State governments*Women’s Component with SCP and TSP*Reduction of property taxes and stamp duties for single women*No diversion of women’s component funds (30% of the total) in different ministries and departments. E.g. in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, swadhar & all anti-poverty programmes & schemes*Transparency about allocation and complete utilisation of funding- ensure no lapsed funds 2
  3. 3. *Right to information*Inclusion of gender economists in pre-budget workshops that should be held around October so that their suggestions can be included. Appoint a gender specialist in the finance ministry*Develop a notion of women friendly cities thro’ budgetary allocations4 categories of programmes/ schemes benefiting women*Women specific schemes where 100 % of the allocation is required to be spent on women.*Pro-women schemes where at least 30% of allocation and benefits flow to women.*Gender neutral schemes meant for the benefit of community as a whole where both men and women avail these benefits.*The residual state specific programmes having profound effect on women’s position/ condition.Panchayat Budgets*To engender budgets at the Panchayat level, we need to analyse budgets scheme-wise, sector wise, category-wise and year wise with their budget estimates, revised estimates and the actual expenditure.*It is also important to make thorough study of Economic Survey published by the Government of India and State Human Development Reports, State Policies for Women and allocation of resources in the State plans published by the state governments that guide programmes and budgetary allocationsFood Subsidy(2003-4 and 2004-5)*Union budget (2003-4) made provision of Rs. 25000*The interim budget for 2004-5 estimated that food subsidy would stand at Rs. 27800 crore.*More than enough buffer stock- rooting in the poorly equipped and managed ware-houses*But main problem- Distribution of food-grains*Dismantling of Public Distribution System*Food-grains exported at lower price than at PDS- poor are forced to starve or buy from the open marketInitiative of the Union RD Ministry*To check corruption and bring in transparency in the implementation of rural development projects sponsored by the union government, the Union Rural Development ministry had asked all District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) to keep their funds only in the nationalised banks. 3
  4. 4. * It has also been made compulsory for the district rural bodies to record complete details of expenditure incurred under different heads.*People’s participation in monitoring the progress of implementation and the mechanism of social audit will also be introduced as part of the new strategy to cleanse the working of the DRDAs.Sampoorna Grameen Yojana Funds*The Supreme Court warns against diversion of Sampoorna Grameen Rojgar funds meant for upliftment for poor to other purposes.*The SC has directed the union government not to release any fund under this head to a state until a utilisation certificate for previous allocation furnished by it.* This directive came in response to a petition, filed by PUCL, highlighting starvation deaths in some parts of Orissa.NIRD Study on PRI Finances*A recent survey of panchayats working in 19 states, conducted by the National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad suggested that panchayats remain toothless because functional and financial autonomy has not been granted to the PRIs. The study by the Institute of Social Sciences shows that the extent of fiscal decentralisation through the empowerment of PRIs has been very little.Practical & Strategic Gender Needs *Elected women in PRI, legislative bodies and parliament have played a positive role in addressing, or attempting to address, a range of practical gender needs (inadequacies in living conditions such as provision of fuel, water, healthcare and employment). * their impact on strategic gender needs(affirmative action by the state, pro- active role of the employers to enhance women’s position in the economy and social movements) is not remarkable.Need for Composite Programmes for women/ girls*There is a need for provisions in the composite programmes under education, health and rural development sectors to target them specifically at girls/women as the principal beneficiaries and disaggregated within the total allocation.*Need to place restrictions on their re-appropriation for other purposes.Need for a Proactive Role of State Commissions for Women on Budget*Budgets garner resources through the taxation policies and allocate resources to different sections of the economy. 4