Mainstream, VOL LIII No 46 New Delhi November 7, 2015
Ensure Adequate Funds for Nutrition and Health
Tuesday 10 November 2015, by
The recent statements made by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Ms Maneka Gandhi, on October 19 should serve as a wake-up call for the Government of India as well as for all those concerned about proper functioning of critical nutrition and health problems in India. Ms Gandhi has expressed serious worry about nutrition programmes being adversely affected due to funds crunch caused by budget cuts.
Here it needs to be recalled that when the first full-fledged Union Budget of the new government committed to ‘achchey din’ was announced in February, people were shocked at the unprecedented huge cuts made in critical social sector areas like health, nutrition and women’s welfare. However the Union Govern-ment said that as a higher share of taxes is being transferred to the State governments, these cuts will be made up by the higher allocations in State budgets.
However analysts of various State budgets have been pointing out that this promise has not been fulfilled. Now the Union Minister for Women and Child Development has herself stated that a serious funds crunch actually exists.
It is therefore the duty of the Union Government to clearly come out with a statement regarding to what extent the cut-backs in critical social sectors have been made up by additional resources provided in State budgets. If, on balance, shortages still exist, then these need to be made up as early as possible so that most important priorities like health and nutrition are not starved of funds.
C-27, Raksha Kunj,
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