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Budgeting For Gender Equity

IntroductionGender Budgeting is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men. It is not an accounting exercise but an ongoing process of keeping a gender perspective in policy/ programme formulation, its implementation and review. GB entails dissection of the Government budgets to establish its gender differential impacts and to ensure that gender commitments are translated in to budgetary commitments.The rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation. Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. The way Government budgets allocate resources, has the potential to transform these gender inequalities. In view of this, Gender Budgeting, as a tool for achieving gender mainstreaming, has been propagated.NEWTime Line2001:Special reference by the Finance Minister of India in his Budget speech.Study on Gender Related Economic Policy Issues by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). (Commissioned by the then DWCD).The second interim report of the NIPFP (August 2001), for the first time analysed the Union Budget 2001-02 from a gender perspective. 2002:Analysis of Budgets of select States was undertaken by NIPCCD.Expenditure on women was elicited from the Union Budgets in the succeeding years 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and the broad results were reflected. in the Annual Reports of the DWCD. This became a step forward in the direction of Gender Analysis of the Union Budget 2003:In January 2003, the Cabinet Secretary Government of India, recommended the suggestion that Ministries/Departments should have a chapter on Gender issues in their Annual Reports. Many Ministries/Departments have since been reporting on the same, which forms a major basis of reviewing the achievements on Gender Budgeting within the Ministries/Departments. Letter2004:Ministry of Finance constituted an Expert Group on classification system of Government transactions “to examine the feasibility of and suggest the general approach to Gender Budgeting and economic classification”.Inter-Departmental Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary, Expenditure.The first meeting of inter-departmental committee held on 7 December 2004, wherein need for opening Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) in all Ministries/ Departments was deliberated and subsequently a letter was issued to this effect.Instructions issued by Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, in December, 2004 to all Ministries/ Departments to establish a ‘Gender Budgeting Cell’ by 1st January, 2005.Subsequently, the Secretary, Planning Commission, endorsed the views of the Ministry of Finance and advised “the Ministries/Departments to clearly bring out scheme-wise provisions and physical targets in the Annual Plan proposals for 2005-06 and to carry out an incidence analysis of Gender Budgeting from next financial year.”Report--LetterLetter2005:Since 2005-06, the Expenditure Division of the Ministry of Finance has been issuing a note on Gender Budgeting as a part of the Budget Circular every year. This is compiled and incorporated in the form of Statement 20 as a part of the Expenditure Budget Document Volume 1 by the Expenditure Division of the Ministry of Finance. This GB Statement comprises two parts- Part A and Part B.Part A reflects Women Specific Schemes, i.e. those which have 100% allocation for women.Part B reflects Pro Women Schemes, i.e. those where at least 30% of the allocation is for women. GB Statement 2015-2016GB Statement Previous Year2007:A Charter for Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) issued on 8th March 2007, by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, outlining the composition of GBCs and their functions.Introduction of scheme on Gender Budgeting with a view to building capacity and encouraging research, so that a gender perspective was retained at all levels of the planning, budget formulation and implementation processes. All State Governments, Government agencies and training institutions can apply under the scheme. CharterScheme GuidelinesDocuments which are required to be submitted along with training/research and documentation proposalsAttention NGOs2010:The Planning Commission, Government of India, vide D.O. no. PC/SW/1-3(13)/09-WCD, dated, 5th January, 2010, has clarified that, "s;Women Component Plan should no longer be used as a strategy either at the Centre or at the State level. In its place as already initiated by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Women and Child Development, we should adopt Gender Responsive Budgeting or Gender Budgeting only"s;.The Department of Expenditure has issued ‘Revised Guidelines for preparation of Outcome. Herein the Outcome Budget scope prescribes that “As far as feasible, sub-targets for coverage of women and SC/ST beneficiary under various developmental schemes and schemes for the benefit of North Eastern Region should be separately indicated.”.LetterLatest Outcome Budget Guidelines2012:Formation of Working Group for Developing Guidelines for Gender Audit of Policies, Programmes and Schemes of Government of IndiaThe Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India, vide D.O. no. PC/SW/1-3(13)/09-WCD, dated, 18th October, 2012, has written to Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs that, "s;To accelerate the process (of GB), State Finance Departments could set up Gender Budget Cells on the lines of the Charter for Gender Budget cells issued by the Ministry of Finance. The State Planning Departments may also be instructed to include the need for gender budgeting as a part of their annual plan circular "s;.Officer OrderLetter2013:The Secretary, MWCD, vide D.O. no. 1-25/2012-GB, dated, 18th February, 2013, has issued guidelines to States to provide a road map towards institutionalizing Gender Budgeting at State level.Letter with GuidelineAchievements3.1 Gender Budgeting Cells (GBCs) in Union Government:The GBCs are envisaged to serve as focal points for coordinating gender budgeting initiatives within their Ministries and across Departments. So far 56 Ministries/Department have confirmed setting up of a cell/nominating a nodal person.Format for preparing Gender Budgeting Action Plan 2015-16 by GBCsList of GBCsMinutes of the meeting of the GBCs3.2 Gender Budgeting in States: In order to have the desired impact, it is imperative that State Governments/ Union Territories also adopt Gender Budgeting. Taking this forward, in 2005 MWCD organized three Regional Workshops, in collaboration with UNDP, to share and discuss the strategy of the Government on Gender Budgeting and Gender Mainstreaming. Subsequently, many State Governments like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have adopted Gender Budgeting.Progress in States3.3 Capacity Building for GB:One of the key focus areas of the MWCD has been strengthening internal and external capacities and building expertise on Gender Budgeting. For this, the MWCD has been engaged in conducting a number of trainings, workshops, one to one interactions/discussions and development of resource material.Training Programmes and workshops Reports3.4 Resource Material Development for GB: MWCD, in collaboration with UN Women, has also developed a Manual and Handbook for Gender Budgeting for Gender Budget Cells for Central Ministries and Departments. Gender Budgeting HandbookGender Budgeting Manual3.5 Evaluation of Gender Budgeting Scheme: NABARD Consultancy Services PVT. Ltd.(NABCONS)has been assigned the task of undertaking Evalution of the Gender Budgeting Scheme's performance during the XI Five Year Plan NABCONS has submitted the report with recommendations.