Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government needs to allocate more funds for children in order to address issues relating them. This was opined by experts at a consultation on child budgeting held at KIIT School of Rural Management, organized by Center for Children Studies.
Although children constitute 40 percent of the State’s population, the State has no separate plan and
allocation for children as in the case of Tribal sub plan and women component plan, they observed.
An analysis made on the child budget pointed out that only 2.40 percent of the total budget was allocated for children during the financial year 2011. Apart from this the analysis reflected that a number of departments failed to utilise the resources allocated for children’s welfare the experts said.
The analysis also stressed that Odisha needs to spend 6 percent of GDP on education as against only 2.93 percent on elementary education at present, in order to achieve the goal of 11th and 12th Plan.
Apart from this the analysis threw light on the provision for mid-day meal for 65 lakh children with a total expenditure of Rs 638 crore which comes to Rs. 4.68 per meal per day. The experts felt that it is highly inadequate to meet the desired calorific value. Similarly if one looks into the BPL families, the need for scholarship for 26 lakh students is Rs 19.50 crore, but the Government has made provision of Rs 1 crore for 10,000 children only.
The analysis further pointed out that the budget allocation for children in the health sector also falls short of the actual requirements.
Among others, Prof. Sailabala Devi, Smt. Anjali Behera, Honorable Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Saraswoti Hembrum, Chair Person, State Commissioner for Child Rights, Sri Panchanan Kanungo, Former Finance Minister and Hon’ble MLA, Sri Pratap Sarangi were present.