In a report tabled by the parliamentary committee on the Empowerment of Women in Lok Sabha, it said that the central government has spent a gigantic amount of funds allocated for its flagship scheme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao on the media campaigns.
The committee also noted that it’s time the government focuses on other vertices to achieve measurable outcomes from the scheme.
“The Committee finds that out of a total of Rs 446.72 crore released during the period 2016- 2019, a whopping 78.91 percent was spent only on media advocacy.”said Parliamentary committee in Lok Sabha
“Over the last six years, through focussed advocacy BBBP has been able to capture the attention of political leadership and national consciousness towards valuing the girl child. Now, it is time to focus on other verticals by making ample financial provisions to help achieve measurable outcomes related to education and health envisaged under the scheme.”the report further mentioned.
The committee is headed by Heena Vijaykumar Gavit and the report is named Empowerment of Women through education with special reference to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
The flagship scheme of central govt BBBP was launched in 2015 by the Narendra Modi govt with an aim to focus on issues like sex-selective abortion and the declining child sex ratio in the country. The programme is currently operational in over 400 districts across India.
The committee also reported on the poor utilisation of the total budget. Since its inception in 2014-15 to 2019-20, the total allocated budget under the scheme was Rs 848 crore. This doesn’t include the COVID year of 2020-21. Till 2019-20, a total of Rs 622.48 crore was distributed to the states however, only 25.13 percent of the total money the states got was spent by them under the scheme.
As per the implementation guidelines described on the e-address of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the two key components of BBBP include media campaigns and multi-sectoral intervention in selected gender critical districts that perform poorly with respect to child sex ratio.
The report also mentioned that the massive spend on advertisements was clearly against the previously laid down formula for utilisation of funds.