NEW DELHI: The Centre has released an amount of over Rs 3,024 crore under the Nirbhaya fund out of which states have utilised around Rs 1,919 crore, the Women and Child Development Ministry said on Friday.
The Nirbhaya fund was set up in 2013 by the UPA government to improve the safety and security of women in the aftermath of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedic student, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, in December, 2012 in a moving bus in Delhi.
Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani gave out state-wise data of release and utilization of the Nirbhaya fund.
The data showed the Centre has released an amount of Rs 3,024.46 crore under the Fund out of which states have utilised Rs 1,919.11 crore.
The highest amount has been released to Delhi at Rs 409.03 crore out of which Rs 352.58 crore has been utilised by it, according to the data.
Other high recipients included UP which was given Rs 324.98 crore out of which the state utilised Rs 216.75 crore and Tamil Nadu which was given Rs 303.06 crore and it used Rs 265.55 crore from the fund.
She said in addition to these funds, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has released a sum of Rs 82.03 crore to states and UTs under the project of customization, deployment and management of Vehicle Tracking Platform.
Irani said an Empowered Committee (EC) of Officers appraises and recommends the proposals received from various Central Ministries, Departments, States and UTs and other organizations for funding under the Nirbhaya scheme.
"After initial appraisal by the EC, the concerned Ministries/ Departments get the projects/ schemes appraised by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC)/ Standing Finance Committee (SFC)/ Public Investment Board (PIB)/ Delegated Investment Board(DIB) as per guidelines of Ministry of Finance," she said in a written reply.
Thereafter, they obtain approval of the Competent Financial Authority (CFA) and release the funds out of their respective budgets.
"The Ministries/ Departments implement the projects/ schemes either directly or through States/ UTs/ Implementing Agencies. A total of 35 schemes/ projects have been appraised and recommended by the EC so far. The EC reviews the status of implementation of the approved projects from time to time in conjunction with the concerned Ministries/ Departments/Implementing Agencies," she said.
The ministries, departments and implementing agencies also review and monitor the progress of their respective schemes and projects for faster implementation at their level, she added.
Responding to another question, Irani said in order to facilitate states and UTs to undertake efficient and timely investigation in cases of sexual assault, a total of 14,950 Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kits have been provided to them for use in such cases at a total cost Rs.2.97 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund.
She also gave data of state-wise distribution of these kits.
UP has received the highest number of kits at 3,056 followed by Rajasthan which has been given 1,452 kits and Madhya Pradesh which has got 1,187 kits.
Responding to another question, Irani said the Central government has set up 684 One Stop Centres for violence-affected women with the help of the Nirbhaya fund.