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

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Underemphasis on Nutrition in Budget 2022–23

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Compared to the previous year’s (2021–22) budget speech of Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister used the word “digital” 36 times, while “education” was mentioned 12 times and “nutrition” only once. After expecting 8.5% growth rate, as the Economic Survey 2021–22 has estimated, this was a budget of hope for millions of poor families and children to repair their loss of livelihood, education, and nutrition. Among the other sectors, education, health and nutrition are the worst-affected areas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The recent report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 highlighted that the cases of stunting in children under five years of age have increased in 13 states during 2015–20. The increased incidence of hunger and low score in the Global Hunger Index (101 out of 116 countries in 2021 as compared to 94th position in 2020) and COVID-19-led disruptions in maternal child nutrition services might have intensified the existing malnutritional challenges in India.

Despite improvements in many underlying determinants (such as access to improved water, sanitation facility, and cooking fuel) of child undernutrition, 35.5%, 32.1%, and 19.3% of children under age five are stunted (measured by low height for age), underweight (as low weight for age), wasted (as low weight for height), respectively, according to the NFHS-5 report.

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Updated On : 14th Mar, 2022
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