Only 250 million rupees allocated for women development in ADP
Most of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations are related to women’s development, such as ‘no poverty’, ‘good health and well-being’, ‘quality education’, ‘gender equality’, ‘work decent and economic growth”, ‘reduced inequalities’ and ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’.
However, the provincial government, which claims to be a champion of women’s empowerment, has allocated a meager Rs 250 million for women’s development in the Annual Development Program (ADP) for the financial year 2018-19.
The total budget for development programs related to women’s development has been divided into 10 ongoing programs. As in other sectors, no new programs have been introduced for women’s development in the budget. The outgoing government has seen fit not to announce new projects so that the new government can announce them based on its manifesto.
An amount of Rs 35 million has been allocated in the budget from the advanced amount of Rs 461 million for the implementation of gender reform action plan in Shikarpur, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana, Mirpurkhas, Jacobabad, Hyderabad and Karachi.
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The total estimated cost of the program was 544.77 million rupees and it was approved in December 2011. An amount of 10 million rupees was added to the program budget when it was revised for the outgoing budget year. According to budget estimates, only 22% of the program’s funds will be used by June 2019, six and a half years after its launch.
Out of the 250 million rupees for women’s development in the ADP, a significant portion of 107 million rupees has been allocated for the establishment of the Women Development Complex in Karachi. The project was approved in January 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs 244.27 million. The government expects 49% of the project funds to be utilized in the next fiscal year.
Amounts of 3 million rupees and 15 million rupees have been allocated respectively for an active women’s hostel and a development complex for women in Nawabshah.
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The hostel was initially approved in 2011, but only 4% of its funds have been used so far. The complex was approved in 2009 and if all the funds allocated to it in the current fiscal year had been used, its financial progress would have been 54%. The estimated costs of the hostel and resort at Nawabshah when the projects were approved were Rs 13.76 million and Rs 44.76 million respectively.
The provincial government has earmarked Rs 12 million in the budget for the coming financial year for advocacy of women empowerment in Sindh. The program was approved in 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 49.38 million.
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The establishment of three child care centers in Karachi and one in each divisional headquarters in Sindh is another program that has languished since 2011 when it was estimated at Rs 95.57 million. The total amount allocated to the program in the new budget is 20 million rupees.
The repair and maintenance program of the Women’s Training Institute in Nawabshah was approved in 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 36.55 million. So far, no money has been spent on the project. However, a sum of 20.82 million rupees has been allocated for the program in the new budget.