The Gender Budget for India, which attempts to close the gender gap, was allotted ₹2.23 lakh crore in the 2023 Federal Budget, which is just 2.12% more than the Revised Estimates (RE) of ₹2.18 lakh crore for 2022–23. Nonetheless, it was at least 30% more than the previous year’s Budget Estimates (BE) of ₹1.71 lakh crore.
The gender budget’s percentage of overall government expenditure increased by 0.63 percent. The expected gender budget for this year was 4.96 percent of overall expenditures, up from 4.33 percent the previous year.
The gender budget was introduced for the first time in the 2005-06 budget. It attempts to “break down the government’s mainstream budget according to its impact on women and men for gender neutral and gender sensitive sectors,” according to the Women and Child Development Ministry. The Gender Budget’s ultimate goal is gender equality.
Decoding Gender Budget Parts A and B
Part A and Part B comprise the gender budget. Part A emphasises women-specific programmes with 100% allocation for women, whereas Part B contains schemes with at least 30% allocation for women.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana dominates Part A of the Women’s Budget, which was granted approximately ₹88,000 crore this year (both urban and rural housing). These two projects received 90% of the total funds for Part A of the Gender Budget.
Part B, the larger of the two components, was allocated ₹1.35 lakh crore in the 2023 budget. Section B includes many projects for rural development, health, education, and women’s empowerment.
Part A of the Gender Budget increased by 228% over the previous year, while Part B decreased by 6% from 2022 to 23.
In reality, the revised estimates for Part A in 2022–2023 were 238,26% greater than the budget forecasts for the same period. The revised estimates for Part B, on the other hand, were 11.30% lower than the budget forecasts for 2022–23.
What key schemes received
The funding for the Safe City Initiative, a Nirbhaya Fund effort to ensure the protection of women and children, has been increased eightfold, from ₹165 crore in RE 2022–23 to ₹1,300 crore in BE 2023–24.
SAMBAL, a sub-scheme comprised of existing programmes such as One Stop Center, Women Helpline, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, received the same allocation of ₹562 crore in the 2023 Budget.
Another sub-scheme, SAMARTHYA, which covers women empowerment programmes like the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana and Swadhar Greh, had a budget of ₹2,496 crore this year. This was 33% higher than in RE 2022–23 but only 2% higher than in BE 2022–23.
SAMBAL and SAMARTHYA are part of the wider ‘Mission Shakti’ umbrella plan, an integrated women empowerment initiative that began in April 2022.