The population of children in India accounts for 43 per cent of the total populace but budgetary allocation for this segment is a mere 4.6 per cent for 2013-14,research and advocacy body Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) has found.
According to the report,total allocation for children in the 2013-14 union budget has marginally come down to 4.6 per cent from previous year’s 4.8 per cent and the sector wise distribution of resources is “skewed” with key areas like child health getting a meagre three per cent of the funds.
“Within the total allocation for child-specific schemes in 2013-14,which stands at Rs 77,235.95 crore,the share for child education is 72 per cent,child development 24 per cent,child health three per cent and child protection one percent,” it said.
Allocation for child health decreased from 3.77 per cent and outlay for child protection services reduced by Rs 100 crore.
The “child budget” largely ignored even recommendations of Working Group on Child Rights for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) which wanted it to represent a new “child rights paradigm” to ensure children’s rights to survival,development and protection and participation are met,the report claimed.
It said child labour in ‘hazardous occupations’ in India continues to be as high as 1,219,470 (5-14 years of age).
Sector-wise prioritising in the current budget,when compared to the previous budget,showed a mere re-distribution of resources without any focused and committed intervention.
Though allocation for Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS) showed a 11.67 per cent increase over the last year,this is far short of the target average amount of Rs 36,000 crore recommended by the 12th plan Working Group.
Despite over 40 per cent of children being underweight,there is still no commitment towards universalising of ICDS,the report added.