Slump in budget for kids: Study


Guwahati, Nov. 6: A study of Assam state budgets between 2008-09 and 2013-14 has revealed that allocation for children has decreased from 5.17 per cent in 2008-09 to 3.49 per cent in 2013-14.

The report of the study conducted by North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), an NGO here, released today, said on an average, only 4.8 per cent of the total budgetary allocations was made for issues concerning children in the state. “While the share for other Indian states has been increasing over the years, children’s share in Assam budget has been reduced. Besides, there was an average under-spending of 16.45 per cent in budget for children from 2008-09 to 2011-12 and maximum under-spending of 28.21 per cent was noted in 2008-09 and 2010-11,” the report said.

The NESRC and New Delhi-based HAQ Centre for Child Rights today organised a conference here to discuss the findings and how less allocation was affecting welfare activities for children.

Assam social welfare minister Akon Bora, while releasing the report here, expressed concern over low allocation to the state under the integrated child development scheme. Additional chief secretary of state education department Subhash Chandra Das said under-spending, lack of proper infrastructure and dearth of good teachers were affecting development of children.

NESRC director Melvil Pereira, member secretary of Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Leena Das, deputy director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, Virginius Xaxa, were present.