BHUBANESWAR: With Odisha Government introducing a first-of-its-kind ‘Nutrition Budget’ in the Assembly on Tuesday, the State’s perennial fight against malnutrition and under-nutrition is set to get a boost.
The Nutrition Budget aims at mapping nutrition-centric schemes and programmes, help assess its impact on the nutrition front besides achieving a significant reduction in the level of stunting, wasting and undernourishment through collective efforts of multiple departments.
Presenting the Special Budget for 2020-21 fiscal, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari said “Several innovative schemes and programmes have been designed to achieve the desired outcome. The Nutrition Budget is an important tool to help the key departments in incorporating nutritional outcomes as one of the important components within various schemes, programmes and policies,” he said. Nutrition specific allocation, under different schemes in the State, has increased from around Rs 3999.08 crore during 2018-19 to Rs 5210.29 crore in 2020-21.
Similarly, a provision of Rs 23753.77 crore has been made under nutrition-sensitive schemes for 2020-21 compared to Rs 13879.96 crore in 2018-19.
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While 12 schemes have been identified as nutrition-specific, 84 schemes are identified as nutrition-sensitive.
The Department of Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti has a major share of children and women related expenditure in nutrition-specific schemes, followed by the Department of Food Security and Consumer Welfare.
Nutrition Budget that includes both administrative expenditure and programme expenditure has been developed after carefully analysing 43 demand grant documents of various departments.
“The State Government has undertaken strategic measures to combat malnutrition through adequate provisions in the Nutrition Budget, which as a tool, will help translate commitment on the nutrition front to budgetary commitments. It will also help in achieving key Sustainable Development Goals such as reduction of hunger and improvement in nutrition outcomes,” Pujari hoped.