Govt Issues Guidelines on Utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund
NEW DELHI: Government today issued guidelines for utilisation of Rs 3,000 crore Nirbhaya Fund under which various departments can seek money from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) for schemes to improve safety and security of women in the country. Issuing the guidelines, the Finance Ministry said the WCD ministry would appraise these schemes to decide their suitability to qualify for getting funds from the Nirbhaya Fund.
"WCD is the nodal authority which can be approached by various Ministries/Departments with the proposals/schemes, to be funded from Nirbhaya Fund targeted to strengthen the safety and security of women in the country," it added.
It said the WCD ministry will send the suitable proposals to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for budgetary allocations in the respective Demands.
DEA will appraise the proposal on financial and other aspects to avoid any duplicity of schemes. Following this, the Budget Division in DEA, with the approval of Finance Minister, would approve the funding of schemes from the Nirbhaya Fund.
"Ministry of WCD shall be the nodal Ministry to review and monitor the progress of these schemes in conjunction with the line Ministries or Departments," the Finance Ministry said, adding that Cabinet approval would be required for implementing the scheme.
The Nirbhaya Fund has a corpus of Rs 3,000 crore, including an additional Rs 1,000 crore allocation made in Budget for 2015-16.
In December, a Parliamentary Panel had criticised the government for not utilising the Nirbhaya Fund.
The Expenditure Department have been in the "habit of parking of funds over the years" pending formulation and approval of Schemes matching the allocation, the panel had said.
The Fund was announced in the 2013-14 Budget following which only two schemes - one of Rs 150 crore and another Rs 50 crore - was utilisation from the Fund.