New Delhi, March 30: While Rajasthan government is busy changing history books, school uniforms and building a research Centre for Cows, it has largely failed on its promise to empower women.
In a shocking revelation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Wednesday cited lackadaisical attitude of Vasundhara Raje government. As per the CAG report, Rajasthan has failed to spend a single rupee from the allocated funds for three gender-based schemes aimed for empowering women in 2015-16.
The CAG report on Wednesday said: “Nil expenditure on three gender-based schemes, and only 26% expenditure on one scheme, show lack of emphasis on the implementation of gender budgeting.”
Both Women and Child Development Department and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department failed to use the allocated funds for the respective plans such as Mission Gramya Shakti (MGS) and Dhan Laxmi Mahila Samridhi Kendra (DLMSK) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
The MGS scheme was formed to boost self-help groups and provided with Rs 16.60 crore for the entire fiscal year. In the same lines DLMSK scheme was introduced with the objective of effecting socio-economic empowerment of women. It was granted budgetary provision of Rs 11.89 crore to train self-help groups and provide platforms for marketing products.
However the CAG in its report found that Women and Child Development did not use anything in both the schemes during 2015-16.
Replying to CAG, the department uncovered a layer of the onion when it said the scheme could not be implemented due to non-approval of the MGS’s work plan by the finance department. It further outlined non-receipt of documents required for constructing buildings for the centre as the reason for inaction.
Despite the allocation of Rs 129.60 crore, there was zero expenditure for the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in 2015-16 noted the CAG. The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj department blamed Centre for the same. They said they never received the funds for the same form the Modi government.
The CAG also pointed out another scheme National Rural Livelihood Project (NRLP) and said only Rs 8.23 crore (26%) out of its total allocation of Rs 31.19 crore was utilised.
In budget 2009-10, the Rajasthan government had announced Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) for analyzing gender-based spending of each department. The GRB is used to ensure that public resources are allocated equally to satisfy the most pressing needs of specific gender groups.
But the present state of affairs highlight how women empowerment is not the priority of the government.
The CAG report also said that 18 of the total 51 PSUs formed from 2006-07 to 2015-16 in Rajasthan have not started their business activities, incurring loss of Rs 13,217.17 crore.
The CAG rapped the government for its lackluster performance and said the whole purpose of incorporation of these PSUs is defeated while adding, “The government should take appropriate action to commence business activities of these PSUs.”