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Major dip in nutrition mission spend; ministry cites fund crunch

Major reduction in the budget of the nutrition scheme and many other schemes of the ministry of women and child development was also reflected in the ‘Demand for Grants 2020-21’ of the ministry.

Published: 24th October 2021 09:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2021 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational Image (File photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI:  The government data has disclosed a major decline in the expenditure towards the Centre’s flagship nutrition programme during 2020-21. The revised estimate for the national nutrition mission was reduced substantially to 16.2%. While the budget estimate of the government’s flagship national nutrition mission  (Poshan Abhiyaan) was Rs 37,00 crore, it was reduced to Rs 600 crore in the revised estimate.

A close look at the past years’ data of the national nutrition mission disclosed the reduced spending for the scheme in the last few years. The scheme recorded an actual expenditure of nearly Rs 2,591 crore and Rs 1,880 crore during the previous years of 2018-19 and 2019-20. The data clearly suggests that the revised estimate of Rs 600 crore for the nutrition Mission in the year 2020-21 was the lowest in the many years.

Major reduction in the budget of the nutrition scheme and many other schemes of the ministry of women and child development was also reflected in the ‘Demand for Grants 2020-21’ of the ministry. The latest report noted that the ministry had requested funds to the tune of Rs 32,919.86 crore (an increase of 9.7 per cent over budget estimate (BE) 2020-21) at the time of Pre-budget discussion with the secretary, Expenditure. However, the ministry of finance has allocated Rs 24,435 crore only in BE 2021-22, i.e., 18.57 per cent less than BE 2020-21.

On a query of the Parliamentary Standing Committee regarding the reasons for the decreased allocation for the financial year 2021-22, the ministry of women and child development replied that the ministry of finance allocated funds on the basis of trends of expenditure and availability of resources against Rs 21,008.31 crore in the revised estimate (RE) 2020-21.

The Ministry had requested funds to the tune of Rs 30,007.10 crore, against which Rs 24,435.00 crore has been earmarked in BE 2021-22. The Ministry stated that provisions under RE 2021-22 would be sought if and as required in order to ensure adequate allocation for all schemes of the ministry. 

Poshan Abhiyaan was launched on March 8, 2018, with an objective to reduce malnutrition from the country in a phased manner and achieve improvement in the nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers in a time-bound manner. 



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