1. Gender Budget Cell – Need & Origin
Karnataka has taken major steps towards promoting gender equality. One such major initiative is setting up a monitoring mechanism called the Karnataka Mahila Abhivruddhi Yojane (KMAY) in the department of Women and Child Development. Under KMAY the Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, Government of Karnataka, periodically monitors performance of development Schemes with gender focus. This mechanism is intended to ensure gender equality and to integrate women in the mainstream of development
Thereafter the State has made a beginning to prepare Gender Budgeting in 2006-07. The GB document presented to assembly is intended to show Public Expenditure on women centric Schemes. The announcement on this was made in para 25 of Budget Speech of 2006-07.
A Gender Budget Cell (GBC) has been established in Fiscal Policy Analysis Cell of Finance Department in 2007. A Coordinator GBC has also been positioned. The key task of the GBC is to prepare GB document by identifying the quantum of resource allocation and expenditure for Women. The GBC is also mandated to guide departments in translating policy commitments and help in capacity building. The first GB document was presented to Legislature in the year 2007-08. Karnataka is the first State to do so.
2. Gender Budget Document – Scope and Design
Gender based Budgeting is an overarching exercise which would require progressive reforms in budget making where the resource allocation ought to be linked to intended outcome. The stated objective of GB document is to identify the quantum of resource allocation in order to prioritize and address the concerns of women.
The GB document reflects allocation of funds under various schemes cutting across various departments. The schemes are presented in two categories namely, Category-A and Category-B.
- Category – A presents women specific budget provisions in which 100% of provision is meant for women.
- Category – B presents women specific budget provisions wherein at least 30% of provision is meant for women.
The identification and classification of Schemes as indicated above is taken up during the Budget preparation every year. The GB document is progressively being stabilized as the classification of Schemes under Category – B is based on assumptions due to lack of gender segregated data.
In order to enhance quality of information provided in the GB document explanatory notes for Category – A are being presented since the year 2012-13. The notes indicate the launch of the Scheme, its objectives and achievement as reported in the Annual Reports and Monthly Programme Implementation Calendar (MPIC) and information provided by the Departments in a specific format designed for the purpose. MPIC is designed by Fiscal Policy Institute and brought into effect across all departments in Dec 2008. The notes also indicate the priority objective that has actions and success indicators relevant to the implementation of the Schemes in their respective Results Framework Document (RFD). The RFD guidelines (Section I, page no. 4) for the year 2012-13 has made it mandatory for the departments having activities related to the Schemes in Category A and B Schemes as mentioned in the GB document, to have exclusive objectives with appropriate weightage.
The GB document is being used by some departments particularly those covered under KMAY for implementation and review. The CAG and researchers are also using GB document. CAG has used the same in the Report on State Finances for the year 2010-11 and also for the year 2011-12. It also has the potential of being used by the citizens and also the peoples’ representatives.
3. Categorization of Schemes – Rationale for Assumptions
The rationale for assumptions in categorization of Schemes in the GB document is broadly (i) as recommended by theAshok Lahiri Committee Report and (ii) on the lines adopted by Government of India in the Statement 20 of Expenditure Budget Vol I.
4. Role of Coordinator GBC
The GB document as practiced now involves preparation, documentation, monitoring and evaluation. The Finance Department plays a key role in the preparation and documentation. As part of preparation, a detailed budget circular has been issued in the year 2011 seeking information on the Category – A and Category – B Schemes from the respective departments. This information helps to validate classification of the Schemes.
Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building and Advocacy
The GBC functions under the guidance of Director FPI & Head FPAC, a Joint Secretary level officer from, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The GBC has been a part of the experts committee at Nation Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) and Ministry of Women and Child Development in the context of revision of Gender Budget Statement (GBS), national and regional seminars and workshops partnered by IIM Bangalore, ASCI Hyderabad, IDRC Canada etc., Also, ToT and capacity building for various stakeholders that include Karnataka based NGOs, activists/officials like lawyers, police officers, medical doctors, civil servants were conducted in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development and National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), Bangalore.
wo research projects (i) Gender Audits: Reinforcing the Missing Link in Gender Responsive Budgeting sponsored by UN Women and (ii) Gender Mainstreaming in Municipal Budgeting sponsored by NMEW are expected to commence soon. The presentations made in these contexts are available here .
5. Institutional Arrangements for Monitoring
The monitoring of Gender Budget (GB) is a concerted effort. The Finance Department monitors the progress of expenditure of all the Schemes which also includes Schemes categorized in the GB document. The Planning Department monitors the implementation of Schemes of all departments every month using MPIC. An amplified format of MPIC is used to monitor the GB Schemes. The Department of Women and Child Development has a primary mandate for monitoring of Schemes under Gender Budget. The department has a well laid out roadmap for monitoring of Schemes under KMAY. The quarterly monitoring and review under KMAY is taken up by the Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner as the Chairperson. Along with the monitoring of KMAY Schemes the WCD also monitors the GB Schemes.
The impact evaluation of the GB Schemes is being proposed by WCD to the Karnataka Evaluation Authority (KEA) set up under the Planning Department. The KEA is an independent authority which has a mandate for conduct of evaluation studies. The WCD has commissioned Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore and Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), Bangalore to prepare a ‘Monograph on the Status of Women in Karnataka.
6. Gender Budget Audit & PAC Recommendations
The GB has completed one Plan period. The CAG Report (para 1.4.2) on State Finances for the year ended March 2010 contains a paragraph on Gender Budgeting. The thrust is on the need for GBC to be involved in assessment of budgetary requirements of Category – A and Category – B Schemes and actual allocation of funds. It also emphasized the need for proper monitoring, conduct of impact analysis and evaluation studies by WCD. The observations on assumptions for classification of Schemes being unrealistic and lack of guidelines for classification were some of the highlights besides other observations.
The CAG Report (para 1.4.2) on State Finances for the year ended March 2012 has some critical observations on sample basis, of two of the departments under GB – Department of Forest and Department of Tourism. This report has been tabled in the Legislature during Budget Session in the month of Feb 2013.
The observations on the role of GBC remain as such. The observations on Forest Department indicate that though the Schemes are categorized under Category – B the expenditure as reported by department of WCD and as per appropriation accounts do not match the intent of ‘at least 30% of allocations of the Scheme’ for the benefit of women. The actual expenditure as per appropriation accounts remains between 14 to 20 percent, thus questioning the very basis of assumption. The observations on the Department of Tourism and the reply furnished by the department indicate lack of co-ordination in the preparation of estimates. The observations on WCD indicate that the monitoring of Category – B Schemes of GB taken up by the department is incomplete.