New Delhi: Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday offered Rs.990 crores—or 1% of his ministry’s budgetary allocation—to the ministry of women and child development for programmes aimed at the empowerment of rural women, especially in those districts with low female literacy or those affected by Maoist insurgency.
The minister was speaking at a function on the National Mission for Women organized by the ministry of women and child development in New Delhi.
“There is a possibility of financial coordination between the rural development ministry and the women and child development ministry,” Ramesh said while making the offer to Krishna Tirath, minister for women and child development, for work on issues related to women’s development in rural areas. The rural development ministry’s budget for the year 2012-13 is Rs.99,000 crore.
Ramesh made the offer citing the development work in Assam’s Kamrup district and Pali district in Rajasthan where all the gram sabhas, or village councils, have employed two women coordinators, or gram samanvayak officers, each for creating awareness women on issues such as child sex ratio and malnutrition. Each of the women are paid Rs.4,000 per month for their work. If all the 240,000 gram sabhas in the country were to employ such women coordinators to work for issues related to women’s development, then an approximate budget of Rs.2,500 crore would be needed, Ramesh said.
“I make an offer. We can start with the most backward and Naxal-affected areas or districts where female literacy is low. We can share one per cent of the budget of the rural development ministry. You can get Rs.990 crore provided the finance ministry’s approvals are obtained,” he said. “How this money will be spent would be monitored and the expenditure would have to be explained,” he added,
PTI contributed to this story.