Published: 01st February 2020
Union Budget 2020: More girls enrolled in school than boys, Beti Bachao massive success, FM says to furore in Parliament
In reaction to the booing, Sitharaman announced that issues related to women and children 'cannot be politicised'
The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of girls is higher than boys and attributed this 'success' to the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme. Sections of the Parliament erupted in anger the minute the Minister mentioned this. The Parliament was probably reacting to the increased incident of crimes against women. According to the recent NCRB report, a total of 3,59,849 cases of violence against women in 2017 were reported.
In reaction to the booing, Sitharaman announced that issues related to women and children 'cannot be politicised'. Promising that the numbers would speak for themselves, the Minister announced that in the elementary level, the enrolment for girls was 94.32 percent and only 89.28 percent for boys. In secondary education, she said that the enrollment for girls was 81.32 percent and 78 per cent for boys. In higher secondary too, the Minister claims that 59.70 percent for girls and 57.54 percent for boys.
"The results of the Beti Bachao scheme has yielded tremendous results," the Minister said. Thought the minister did not explain why less boys were enrolling in school these days.
This budget is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second opportunity in seven months to refresh policy priorities to support an economy on a downward spiral. The Economic Survey that was released on January 31, a day before, projected India's economic growth at 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent in the next financial year starting April 1, saying growth has bottomed out. The growth in 2020-21 compares to a projected 5 per cent expansion in 2019-20.
Weak global growth impacting India as well as investment slowdown due to financial sector issues had led to growth dropping to a decade low in current fiscal, said the survey, adding 5 per cent growth projected for 2019-20 is the lowest it could fall for now.
The survey that sets the premise of the Union Budget, said that along with efforts for generating additional employment, special focus has been on improving quality of jobs and formalisation of the economy. The share of regular wage or salaried employees has increased by 5 percentage points from 18 per cent in 2011-12 to 23 per cent in 2017-18. In absolute terms, there was a significant jump of around 2.62 crore new jobs with 1.21 crore in rural areas and 1.39 crore in urban areas in this category.
The survey also introduced Thalinomics to Indians — affordability of Thalis vis-à-vis a day’s pay of a worker, which has improved over time, indicating improved welfare of the common person. The survey stated that affordability of vegetarian Thalis improved 29 per cent from 2006-07 to 2019-20 while that for non-vegetarian Thalis by 18 per cent.