Nearly 80% of Beti Bachao funds spent on media campaigns

Ground Report | New Delhi: Beti Bachao funds; A parliamentary committee report states that the central government has spent 79 percent of the budget allocated for its Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao (BBBP) program on advertising.

Of the ₹446.72 crore given to states from 2016 to 2019 for the BBBP initiative, 78.91% was spent on media advocacy. The Parliamentary Committee on the Empowerment of Women is now going to reevaluate its strategy, to invest in better outcomes for women’s health and education instead.

In a report presented in Parliament on Thursday, the panel headed by Maharashtra BJP Lok Sabha MP Heena Vijaykumar Gavit said that out of Rs 446.72 crore released under the scheme between 2016 and 2019, 78.91 percent was spent on media advocacy, Not spent on media. Regional interventions on health and education for women, The Times of India reported.

“The committee understands the need to conduct media campaigns to spread the message of BBBP among the people… They have felt that it is equally important to balance the objectives of the scheme.”

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As per the Indian Express report, the committee said that since the inception of the scheme, excluding the financial year 2020-21 due to the pandemic, Rs 848 crore had been allocated. During this period, Rs 622.48 crore was given to the states, but “to the dismay of the committee, only 25.13 percent of the funds, i.e. Rs 156.46 crore, have been spent by the states, which is not in line with the performance of the mark”.

The panel in its report said, “Though the committee recognizes the need for conducting media campaigns to spread the message of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao among the people, they feel that it is equally important to balance the objectives of the scheme. ” The panel is headed by Maharashtra BJP’s Lok Sabha MP Heena Vijaykumar Gavit. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, experts and child rights activists have pointed out that girl students are particularly vulnerable to unequal access to education.

The initiative, launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2014, is operational in 405 districts across India and was created to tackle gender-specific abortion. (Beti Bachao funds)

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The Committee noted that despite the clearly established formula for the use of funds, the massive spending on advertisements had been allocated to one district for use in six different components, despite the clearly established formula for the use of funds. of funds. Of this, 16% of the funds are for intersectoral consultations or capacity development, 50% for innovation or awareness-raising activities, 6% for monitoring and evaluation, 10% for health sector interventions, 10% for sector interventions in education, and 8% as flexible funds.

The report said: “The total budget allocation under the BBBP scheme was Rs 848 crore, which includes the exclusion of COVID in the 2020-21 financial year.” In another POSHAN Abhiyaan scheme run by the same ministry Not used until March 2021. Official data shows that out of Rs 5,31,279.08 lakh released as core fund, only Rs 2,98,555.92 lakh were used.

The scheme runs on a 60:40 cost-sharing ratio and the majority is borne by the central government. Emphasizing the need to focus on education and health under BBBP rather than advertisements, the panel recommended a periodic review of the proper use of funds at the state and central levels.

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