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Last Updated : Dec 04, 2019 05:58 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Nirbhaya Fund for safety of women under-utilised by states: Govt data

The women and child affairs (WCD) ministry is the nodal ministry for the Nirbhaya fund

Citizens sit in solidarity at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi with the 27-year-old Hyderabad vet, who was raped, murdered and her body burnt. (Image: Twitter/@bhaiya_pawar)
Citizens sit in solidarity at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi with the 27-year-old Hyderabad vet, who was raped, murdered and her body burnt. (Image: Twitter/@bhaiya_pawar)

More than five years after it was constituted, the funds provided to states under the Nirbhaya Fund to help government agencies combat cases of violence against women remain under-utilised across the country, Hindustan Times has reported.

Citing data presented by the government in Parliament during the ongoing Winter Session, the report states that just over 20 percent of the funds released by the Union Home Ministry to states and Union Territories have been utilised in the last five years.

The women and child affairs (WCD) ministry is the nodal ministry for the Nirbhaya Fund. Apart from the WCD, several other ministries, including home, road and transport, run projects and schemes under the fund. For instance, while the home ministry runs 13 schemes, the road and transport ministry has four and the railway ministry has two schemes running.

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According to the report, under the fund, the WCD ministry allocated Rs 1,000 crore in 2013-14 and 2014-15 while the allocation was Rs 550 crore for 2016-17 and 2017-18. For the years 2018-19 and 2019-20, the figure stood at Rs 500 crore, according to the report.

The Centre allocates the funds to the states, which are then expected to spend them for schemes and projects for women's safety. For instance, between 2014 and 2019, Punjab was allocated Rs 1185.37 lakh under a scheme that promised to provide a one-step redressal window for women facing any kind of violence. Of this, the state showed a utilisation certificate of Rs 65.62 lakh.

Similarly, while Rs 2085 lakh were allocated to Andhra Pradesh in the past five years, the state has shown spending of Rs 814.01 lakh.

Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, meanwhile, which were allocated Rs 11,939.85 lakh and 39,090.12 lakh respectively, have shown a utilisation certificate of Rs 393 lakh and Rs 1,941.57 lakh.

The Nirbhaya Fund was constituted after the gang rape and murder of a student in New Delhi in December 2012. The incident had sparked protests and demands for stricter anti-rape laws across India.

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First Published on Dec 4, 2019 05:58 pm
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