ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Turmoil in Social Sector

Those familiar with the functioning of various ministries in India dealing with priority social sectors (such as health, nutrition, women and child development, education, panchayat) have been painfully aware in recent times that there has been great uncertainty regarding the availability of adequate funds for priority social sector programmes.

First, for many such sectors the actual expenditure for financial year 2014–15 was found to be less than the budget estimates, while the revised estimates were also lower than the budget estimates. On top of it, arbitrary and heavy budget cuts were made in the Union Budget 2015–16 on the plea that these will be made up by the state government budgets. Several state budgets gave no indication of an adequate make-up for the union budget’s heavy cuts. Although actual expenditure data will become available much later, there are several indications from the grass roots of low spending in priority areas like the rural employment guarantee scheme.

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