EditorialSanctum

Health, education spend declines over 2 years

Money allocated for key centrally sponsored social schemes — Integrated Child Development Services, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and National Health Mission — has declined 10%, 7.5% and 3.6% over two years. Over the same period, he money set aside for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission) increased almost three times. The ICDS, SSA and the National Health Mission were carried over from the previous government. The Clean India Mission was started by PM Narendra Modi. The cut in social-welfare funding is part of on-going devolution reforms aimed at giving states more money without spending conditions imposed from Delhi.

The states, however, could not match central funding, IndiaSpend reported in February, using the latest data available, from two years ago. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government cut funding for centrally sponsored schemes 19 percent last year, and the trend continued this year in budget announcements. While funding for NHM and SSA increased two percent over last year, it is lower than what it was before that.

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