Rs7.65b earmarked for women development

LAHORE: The Punjab government has allocated a total amount of Rs 11.65 billion for women’s development and people’s welfare in the new budget, while Rs 4 billion has been allocated for women’s welfare. population in the province.

The amount of the women’s development budget will be used for 15 new programs and four ongoing programs. The new projects include the construction of hostels for working women in different districts of the province. A special initiative brings women with disabilities into the mainstream.

Women’s development has remained a neglected area over the past three years with an otherwise high representation of women in the Punjab Assembly as the budget for Goal 5 of the SDGs, which aims to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, accounted for only 0.5% of the budget. budget. There are nine targets in goal 5 and the development mechanism is not possible without allocating resources. In South Punjab, there are 9 new programs and 2 ongoing programs.

The population welfare budget will be spent on 14 ongoing programs and two new ones, including the establishment of 12 mobile service units in 10 districts. Also in South Punjab, there are 14 ongoing projects and 1 new project to establish 12 mobile service units.

The fertility rate has increased as government procurement of contraceptives was suspended during COVID-19. Rs 391.65 million has been allocated to strengthen access to services and management of the family planning program.

The Punjab Population Innovation Fund received 2.54 billion rupees while 225 million rupees was allocated for premarital counselling. Rs 682 million has been marked for an advocacy campaign leading to a call to action, social and behavioral change.

A total budget of Rs 2.01 billion has been earmarked for labor and human resource development. Of this amount, 1.51 billion rupees is earmarked for the non-development budget while 0.50 billion rupees has been earmarked for the development budget.

The new programs include the abolition of child labor for which 200 million rupees has been allocated, a survey of home workers and domestic workers for which 166.17 million rupees have been allocated and the establishment of centers for employment in Punjab for which Rs 308.82 million has been allocated. .

Rs 300 billion has been earmarked for capacity building of the occupational safety and health regime to promote safer working conditions, while Rs 4.78 billion has been pledged for social protection in Punjab.

Mara R. Wilmoth