New Delhi: The women and child development ministry received a 20% increase in budget allocation this year with the total money set aside climbing to Rs22,095 crore from Rs17,640 crore last year.

The amount budgeted for Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana saw a four times jump with Rs2,700 crore being set aside this year as compared to Rs634 crore in 2016-17.

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As per this scheme Rs6,000 will be provided for mothers who seek institutionalised delivery and vaccination. This follows PM’s announcement on New Year’s Eve to expand and universalize the existing maternity benefit programme. The scheme was earlier being implemented in 53 districts across the country on a pilot basis.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech also announced setting up of Mahila Shakti Kendra at village level with an allocation of Rs500 crore for 14 lakh Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Anganwadi centres.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has been given Rs200 crore in this year’s budget, almost a five-time increase as compared to last year. Rs500 crore has been granted for Nirbhaya Fund which is the same as last year. This takes the total amount given for the fund, since it was instituted in 2013, to Rs3,000 crore so far.

The child protection scheme, which received Rs400 crore last year, has been subsumed within the category of Integrated Child Development Scheme and has received Rs648 crore. Jaitley said the money allocated for welfare of women across ministries has increased to Rs1,84,632 this year from Rs1,56,528 last year.

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