Focus on education, health than spending on ‘Beti Bachao’ ads: Parliament panel to govt

More than 78 percent of total Rs 446.72 crore released during 2016-2019 for ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme was spent only on media advocacy, a parliamentary panel has said.

The government should reconsider spending on advertisements, said the MPs panel, according to PTI news agency.

The parliamentary standing committee said the Union government should instead focus on planned expenditure allocation for sectoral interventions in education and health under the government’s flagship scheme.

The Sixth Report of the Committee on Empowerment of Women (2021-22) on the action taken on the subject “Empowerment of Women through Education with Special Reference to ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (BBBP) Scheme”, was presented in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, PTI reports.

“Now, it is time to focus on other verticals by making ample financial provisions to help achieve measurable outcomes related to education and health envisaged under the scheme,” the panel said.

Calling it one of the most important schemes of the government to improve child sex ratio in backward regions and ensure education of the girl child, the panel recommended that the government should, hereafter, reconsider spending on advertisements under the scheme and focus on planned expenditure allocation for sectoral interventions in education and health.

The committee went on to say: “However, the committee finds that there is a lapse in undertaking required number of task force meetings and collecting monthly reports or statement of expenditure from districts on time. Such examples of non-compliance of the guidelines are clear indicators that the scheme is not being reviewed or monitored properly.”

The committee also finds that records of the activities held for information, education and communication at the state/district level with the national task force authorities are not maintained.

“Social audit of BBBP should compulsorily be got done either by the civil society group or third party/expert at the district level and the outcome may be communicated to this committee,” it said.