Chandigarh, March 17:
The Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has presented a gender budget for the first time to eliminate gender based inequality and equal distribution of resources in the state. Giving this information, Minister of Social Security, Women and Child Development of Punjab Dr. Baljit Kaur said that Social Security Department has been designated as the nodal department to ensure implementation of gender and integration equality in various development processes and schemes of the state.
Dr. Baljit Kaur said that the state Government is committed to the empowerment of women and girls and new programs and schemes will be drawn up under the gender budget to achieve this objective. she said that for improving the education of girls and the health of mothers, the current budget from the four departments of the state government, including Social Security and Women and Child Development Department, Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Department, Rural Development and Panchayat Department and Labor Department etc. Important initiatives will be taken under this scheme.
The Minister of Social Justice said that there are still gender-based inequalities in many areas, which need to be overcome. she said that various ongoing schemes and programs for women will be properly designed and implemented. she emphasized on the need to devise more effective methods and innovative solutions to implement and monitor ongoing schemes for women, saying that Gender Budgeting is such an effective tool, which will eliminate gender-based inequality and ensure equitable distribution of resources. she hoped that this move would prove to be an important tool in reducing gender inequalities and implementing the gender transformative agenda.
Dr. Baljit Kaur said that after implementing the gender budget in four departments, a gender cell will also be established to implement it in other departments in a phased manner and to monitor it. she said that this gender budget will be 100 percent in each sector. Implements special schemes for women, including free bus facility, provision of free sanitary pads, financial assistance to widows and destitute women etc.
The Cabinet Minister said that in the financial year 2023-24, various benefits will be given to women under the schemes of about 8618.50 crores. she said that in the first category, 2068.73 crores schemes have been implemented by four departments under the special schemes of 100 percent women will be covered. She said that under various schemes under the second category women are provided 30 per cent to 99 per cent benefit, about 4991.29 crore schemes will be implemented in the next financial year.
1558.47 crore will be implemented under various schemes under the third category, in which less than 30 per cent of the expenditure is on women.
Dr. Baljit Kaur further said that in the current budget, the Government has provided a budget of around 7,172 crores in various schemes for the empowerment of women.Out of which 5650 crores for financial assistance to widows and destitute women, elderly and disabled persons, 175 crores for Nutrition Abhiyan Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana Accessible India Campaign and other welfare schemes, 497 crores for free bus travel facility to women and 850 post matric Provision is made for Wazifa Yojana Ashirwad Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana.