The 15th Finance Commission headed by Shri N.K. Singh and including Members and senior officials of the Commission held a meeting with the Union Minister for Women & Child Development Smt. Smriti Z Irani and her team of senior officials of the Ministry of WCD.
The Ministry’s proposals for enhanced allocations for its important schemes covering Anganwadi Services, Poshan, Women Welfare, Women Safety, Women Empowerment were discussed in details.
Among its major recommendation for the consideration of the Commission:
- The Ministry of WCD has requested the 15th Finance Commission to include gender Budgeting in its fiscal devolution formula.
- In the Commission’s Vertical Devolution the Ministry has requested for prioritizing gender concerns within schemes/ programmes – with a minimum compulsory allocation of 25% to 40%.
- In its horizontal devolution the Commission has been requested to incorporate gender criteria (Child Sex Ratio and Female Labour Force Participation) as a criteria for horizontal devolution of funds between States.
- The Commission has also been asked to provide for basic and performance grants under which additional activities could be added to current activities of Local Bodies for promoting gender equality.
The Ministry of WCD has also called for:
- Incentivizing performance: States with better performance in Women Education/ Health Outcomes/ LFPR/ Nutritional Outcomes may be considered for incentive grants.
- Fiscal Equalization: Gap funding for States to reach normative levels of social sector spending.
- Enhanced Funding: up from 1% to 1.5% of the Union Budget for WCD.
- Development of CDI/ GDI based on International Practice.
- Revamped indicator for women participation in workforce.
- Increased allocation for Health and Education.
- Reservation of certain percentage of funds for Women centric development works by local bodies.
- Increased funding for capacity building of elected women representatives.
- Women & Wataer: Jal Shakti Abhiyan / Augmentation of Water Resources.
- Mechanism for single data source for SDGs with Annual Measurements.
The Commission has noted all the issues raised by the Ministry and has assured that they would look into all of them carefully while framing its report to the Union Government.
(With the Inputs of Finance Commission).