In the second gender Budget, the state government, led by first woman chief minister Anandiben Patel, has allotted Rs 47,845.97 crore to 593 schemes partially or fully benefiting the fairer sex. Out of the total allocation, a provision of 4.3 per cent has been made for schemes dedicated entirely to women. Out of the rest of the total allocation — 95.7 per cent — has provision for schemes that have 30 to 99 per cent allocation for women.
The number of schemes fully dedicated to women in the Budget for the financial year 2015-2016 has gone up to 132 from 67 in the previous year. The schemes that partially benefit women are numbered at 461. “Considering the importance of girls’ education, health, nutrition, skill development and financial empowerment, a provision to the tune of Rs 2,075.87 crore has been made in the gender Budget,” said Anandiben in her reaction to the Budget presented by finance minister Saurabh Patel.
According to the Budget, women comprising about 48 per cent of total Gujarat population are the focus of several development initiatives in many sectors. The objective of gender Budget was to show the financial allocation for addressing various issues related to gender inequality and put concerted efforts towards empowering women in Gujarat.
With 12,29,876.26 crore, education department has made highest provision for women schemes, followed by Rs 8,848.88 crore in irrigation and water supply, Rs 3,627.79 crore for health and family welfare department.
The first gender Budget was published for financial year 2014-2015, after 2011 census revealed that the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state was lower at 36 (per 1,000 live birth) than all-India IMR of 40, compared to 2001 census. The female mortality rate was estimated at 37 against 42 at all-India level. Besides, for the year 2010-2012, maternal mortality rate was significantly lower at 122, against all-India level of 178.
However, as per 2011 census, female literacy rate in rural and urban Gujarat has been worked out at 61.4 per cent and 81 per cent, as against 57.9 per cent and 79.1 per cent at all-India level, respectively. Besides, since 2001, there has been significant decrease of 29.6 per cent in the dropout rate of girls of Class 1 to 7. But work participation rate of women in Gujarat is 23.83 per cent, against the 25.51 per cent India-level figure.