The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) has noted with concern the reduction in allocation of funds in the current year’s Union budget under various programmes and schemes relating to children.
The pandemic has caused a major disruption in the access to healthcare, nutrition and education for children. With incomes of poor families having gone down further more children today are vulnerable to deprivation, abuse and exploitation. Under these circumstances the percentage share of the budget for children in the current year should have increased. On the contrary, the share of the Union budget allocated for children during the FY 2022-23 has reduced to 2.35% from 2.46% in 2021-22. This share is the lowest allocation for the children since the inception of the Child Budget Statement in FY 2008.
Foundation notes with concern that the budget allocation for the Ministry of Women and Child Development has also been reduced by 8%, from INR 20,401 Cr in FY 2020-21 to INR 18,859 Cr in FY 2022-23. A similar decline is noted in the allocation for the National Child Labour Project, the allocation for which has been reduced to a paltry INR 30Cr from an allocation of INR 120 Cr during FY22.
An analysis of the last few years allocation for NCLP indicates a continuous reduction in the budget allocation for this project. With a meagre budgetary allocation of INR 30 Cr the existing institutions which are a part of the project will face great financial distress and may even find difficult to function.
Foundation pleads for an upward revision of funds allocation for children who are the future of the nation.