Reconsider advertising spend under ‘Beti Bachao…’ scheme, focus on education, health: Paral panel to govt

A parliamentary standing committee has recommended that the government should review the expenditure on advertisements under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme and focus on planned expenditure for sectoral interventions in education and health.

The panel noted that out of the total Rs 446.72 crore released for the government’s flagship scheme during 2016-2019, 78.91 per cent was spent on media advocacy alone.

The Sixth Report of the Committee on Empowerment of Women (2021-22) on the action taken on the theme “Empowerment of Women through Education with Special Reference to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme” was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Over the past six years, through focused advocacy, BBBP has been able to capture the attention of political leadership and national consciousness towards valuing the girl child, the panel said. “Now is the time to focus on other verticals by making adequate financial arrangements to help achieve measurable results related to education and health under the scheme,” he said.

Terming it as one of the most important schemes of the government to improve the sex ratio of children in backward areas and ensure education of the girl child, the committee recommended that the government should henceforth advertise under the scheme. Revise the expenditure incurred and focus on planned expenditure. For sectoral intervention in education and health.

The committee said that as per the guidelines of the scheme, regular or quarterly meetings should be held to review the progress at the district level. It states that regular process of documentation of all activities carried out at district/block and gram panchayat level needs to be done at district level through regular reports and photographic documentation.

“However, the committee felt that there was lapse in holding the required number of task force meetings and timely submission of monthly reports or expenditure statements from the districts. Such instances of non-compliance of guidelines are clear indications that the scheme is not functioning properly. is not being reviewed or monitored,” the committee said.

The panel noted that regular audits and real-time updates of activities are essential to ensure compliance. “The committee also found that records of the activities of the National Task Force for Information, Education and Communication at the State/District level are not maintained, it said.

The panel recommended that the Ministry of Women and Child Development, being the nodal ministry of the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhu scheme, should ensure that review meetings of national, state and district task forces are held as per the guidelines of the scheme. be done To achieve better monitoring, the committee said the ministry should develop online management information system portal for monitoring and surveillance at state, district, block and village level without further delay and data in web portal for transparency. Should be made available. Time monitoring. “Social audit of BBBP must be conducted by civil society group or third party/experts at district level and its findings reported to this committee,” he said.

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