Women Component Plan in Haryana: An Analysis
- Annu & Santosh Nandal
Annu* Santosh Nandal**
*Junior Research Fellow, Deptt. of Economics, M.D.U., Rohtak. ** Professor, Deptt. Of Economics, M.D.U., Rohtak.
The present research study is an attempt to spell out the state level scenario towards Women Component Plan as a gender budgeting tool. The study analyses the outlay/expenditure under women component plan for the time period ranging from 2007-08 to 2012-13. The study also offers policy suggestions to make women component plan as a more effective tool of gender budgeting.
The Government of India has adopted women component plan as a major strategy of gender budgeting and women empowerment. Gender budgeting is not meant to bargain for a larger share of resources for women or to create a separate budget for them. The aim is to analyse the budgetary expenditures from a gender perspective. Women component plan is intended towards a ' convergence of existing services', available in both women-specific and women-related sectors. The notion of women component plan entered the planning process in the 7 th Five Year Plan with the initiation of a special mechanism to monitor 27 beneficiary oriented schemes for women. However, the 9 th Five Year Plan marked a significant progress in this regard. The notion of women component plan, as adopted in the 9 th Five Year Plan, earmarked a clear, unconditional minimum quantum of funds/benefits for women in the schemes run by all ministries/departments that are perceived to be “women related”. The 10 th Five Year Plan marked another significant step forward as it envisaged “immediate action in tying up these two effective concepts of women component
plan and gender budgeting to play a complementary role to each other, and thus ensure both preventive and post facto action in enabling women to receive their rightful share from all the women-related general development sectors” (Patel, V. 2003).
Under women component plan, both Central as well as State Governments are required to ensure that “not less than 30 percent of the funds/benefits are earmarked for women under the various schemes of the 'women-related' ministries/departments”. The notion of women component plan is a precursor to the adoption of gender budgeting, which represents a much broader and profound approach towards ensuring gender responsive budgets and public policies. Women component plan provides a benchmark to assess the performance of ministries/departments in prioritizing plan resources for schemes which benefit women.
Haryana Government allocates funds under women component plan since annual plan 2007- 08. However, information on implementation of women component plan by the various ministries/departments can play an important role in operationalizing gender budgeting. Table-1 and Figure-1 present the outlay/expenditure under women component plan in Haryana.
Table-1 and Figure-1 reveal the increasing trend of outlay/expenditure under women component plan in Haryana. The actual expenditure under women component plan has increased from Rs. 93,752.82 lakh in 2007-08 to Rs. 1,94,826.40 lakh in 2011-12. Annual expenditure growth rate has a fluctuating trend as depicted inTable-1.
The table-2 reveals the increasing trend of outlay/expenditure under women component plan during annual plans under major heads of development in Haryana. An amount of Rs. 2,28,336.71 lakh has been approved for the annual plan 2012-13. While allocating outlays for the departments, highest priority has been accorded to social justice and empowerment
sector in each annual plan. The expenditure on social justice and empowerment has increased from Rs.36,973.59 lakh in 2007-08 to Rs. 87,159.00 lakh in 2011-12. After annual plan 2008-09, no expenditure has been made for community development under women component plan.
FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
The domain of women component plan is restricted only to plan allocations by the ministries/departments; it does not take into account non plan allocations. There is no explanation, however, on how the Planning Commission arrived at the particular figure of 30% under the women component plan, at least not in any of the government reports/ documents available in the public domain. The essential earmarking of 30% funds for women under the women component plan for all ministries at the Centre and the States forces the policy makers to start thinking on the lines of gendered-impact of policies. This commitment of resources is both vital and necessary. Annual growth rate of expenditure under women component plan has a fluctuating trend. The annual expenditure growth rate was 2.96 per cent in 2008-09 and became 66.17 per cent in 2009-10. Asmall amount of funds has been released to urban development which remains constant at Rs. 4.00 lakh in each annual plan under women component plan. Actual expenditure on higher education has decreased from Rs.17597.98 lakh in 2007-08 to Rs. 7745.09 lakh in 2010-11 under women component plan in the state.
A system should be set up to collate gender disaggregated data f rom relevant departments to obtain the gender-wise relevant statistical database, targets and indicators. A gender audit of plan, policies and programmes of various ministries with pro-women allocations should be conducted for evaluation of the progress. Beneficiary incidence is an important part of women component plan. It should be ensured that at least 30 percent of the beneficiaries should be women. To ensure that funds actually reach the women, a 'non-lapsable pool' of women's fund should be created in every State and also at the Centre. If there is under-utilisation of funds allocated for women specific programmes/schemes under any Ministry (Central or State), the balance amount of funds should be transferred to non-lapsable pool. However, to ensure that funds actually reach the women rather than lying idle in the non-lapsable pool, checks and balances as well as incentives for quality of spending as well as monitoring outcomes ought to be put in place. Women component plan should continue as a bridging mechanism to ensure that the momentum of flow of funds to women related programs is sustained. Women component plan should cover all sectors and schemes and all programmes both in the Centre and the State because there is no sector/program/scheme that does not have gender implications. Hence one of the strong recommendations of the Sub Group on the Empowerment of Women for the 11 th Plan is to extend the concept of Women component plan to all ministries/sectors in the Centre and the States. PRIs should be intensively involved to ensure 30% earmarking for women. As per the Seventy Third Constitutional Amendment, 29 subjects have been transferred to the panchayats. The schemes falling under these subjects could be looked into by the panchayats to ensure implementation of women component plan.
Planning Commission should take quarterly meetings to review the progress of women component plan. It should mandatorily obtain the information on women component plan from ministries/states as a part of the annual plan exercise. The proposals submitted by the ministries/departments and the states should document the progress/review of the women component plan during the current/ previous year and the steps proposed to be taken during the forthcoming year. Revised proforma need to be devised which should be simple and user-friendly in order to collect information on women component plan. The allocation of funds under women component plan in each sector needs to be increased by increasing per capita income. Some government schemes need to introduce at the end of the planning commission to enhance the expenditure in budget for the empowerment of women. There is urgent need that women should have access and control over the budget for the development purpose. The monitoring of the women component plan under gender budgeting should be done at regular intervals so that progress could be measured. For effective gender budget analysis, there should be a close interaction between activists in the women's movements and policy makers. The policy makers should know the reality of women's life and their expectations from the government.
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