Different types of Budgeting

The word ‘budget’ has not been used in the Constitution of India. Rather Article 112 of the Constitution of India mentions the term “Annual Financial statement”. The budget is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India among other things. There are different types of budgeting based on different technicalities and procedural frameworks. Some of the types of budgeting are zero-base budgeting, performance budgeting, programme budgeting, gender budgeting and outcome-based budgeting.

Zero-base Budgeting

In this budgeting method, every budgeting cycle is initiated from zero base. In the traditional budgeting system incremental changes were made in the allocation. Traditional budgeting takes the previous year’s budget as a template and then tries to build on this platform. Contrastingly, under the framework of zero-base budgeting the fresh evaluation of each activity is done every time the budget is made. Then funds are allocated only when the activity can justify its relevance.

Example: Suppose a government department spent 10 crores last year. So in current year it can either increase or decrease the requirement to say 11 crores or 9 crores respectively. But under the zero-base budgeting framework, the department will calculate all the expenses and justify each of them. This will reflect the actual requirement which may be 10.2 crores.

The primary purpose of zero-base budgeting is termination of activities which have become irrelevant. The strenuous efforts are involved in the preparation of zero-base budget and so there is lot of resistance at the institutional level. Hence, there has never been a full implementation of zero-base budgeting by different governments. But because of the merits associated with zero-base budgeting its rational principles are quite utilised by different governments albeit in modified forms.

Steps in Zero-base Budgeting:

  • Identification of a task;
  • Finding ways and means of accomplishing the task;
  • Evaluating these solutions and also evaluating alternatives of sources of funds;
  • Setting the budgeted numbers and priorities.

Advantages of Zero-Base Budgeting

  • Leads to Efficiency: It works on rational principles leading to efficient allocation of resources (department-wise). It does not look at the previous numbers but looks at the actual numbers justified in prudential norms.
  • Leads to Accuracy: In traditional budgeting some arbitrary changes are made to the previous year’s budget. But in the ZBB framework every department relooks at each and every item of the clash flow and accordingly compute its operating costs. It gives a clear idea of the costs involved against the desired performance. It also assists in cost reduction to a limited extent.
  • Minimizes redundant activities: It identifies relevant opportunities. It finds out more cost-effective means of doing things by removing all unproductive or redundant activities.
  • Improved levels of Coordination and Communication: It also bolsters coordination and communication within the department and motivates employees by involving them in decision-making.
  • The other merits of zero-base budgeting are flexible budgets, focused operations, lower costs and more disciplined execution.

Disadvantages of Zero-base Budgeting

  • Time-consuming: Zero-base budgeting is a very time-intensive exercise to do every year as against incremental budgeting which is a far easier method.
  • It is also very resource-intensive in nature.
  • High Manpower Requirement: In order to make entire budget from the scratch additional numbers of employees are needed. Many departments may not have adequate time and human resource for the same. It takes more strenuous effort to draw up a budget from scratch rather than modify an existing budget. Critics allege that the benefits of zero-base budgeting do not fully justify its time cost.
  • The process of zero-base budgeting can be manipulated technically to get more resources into some specific departments.
  • Lack of sufficient expertise: The explanation of every line item and every cost is a difficult task which needs specific technical expertise.

Outcome-based Budgeting

It is the practice of developing budgets based on the relationship between funding and expected results. It enhances visibility into how government policies translate into spending and focuses on the outcomes of a funded activity i.e. the quality or effectiveness of services provided. It aims to align programmes and services with prioritised government outcomes.

The outcome-based budgeting refers to the practice of suggesting and listing of estimated outcomes of each programmes or schemes designed. A remarkable feature of outcome-based budgeting is that the outcomes of programmes are measured not just in terms of rupees but also in terms of physical parameters viz. energy produced. Additionally, outcomes are expressed in terms of qualitative targets and achievements to make the technique more comprehensive. Outcome-based budgeting symbolizes a shift from traditional budgeting in the sense that it goes beyond budgeting by inputs towards budgeting by measurable outcomes.

Under the framework of outcome-based budgeting, each ministry presents a preliminary outcome budget to the Finance Ministry, which is responsible for compiling them. The outcome budget becomes a progress card on what various ministries and departments have done with the outlays in the previous annual budget. It measures the development outcomes of all government programmes and whether the money has been spent for the purpose it was sanctioned including the outcome of the fund usage. Outcome budget is a performance measurement tool that helps in:

  • Better service delivery;
  • Efficient decision-making;
  • Evaluating programme performance and results;
  • Communicating programme goals;
  • Improving programme effectiveness;
  • Make budgets cost-effective;
  • Fix accountability;
  • Aid better scheme management;
  • Outcome budgeting makes government programmes more result -oriented, instead of outlay- oriented. Under outcome budgeting, the document shows physical dimensions of the financial budget indicating the actual physical performance in the previous year, current year and targeted performance during the projected next year.

Advantages of outcome-based budgeting

  • It helps to reduce costs by identifying budgets that do not contribute enough to outcomes and redirecting focus to priority areas. It helps in driving better outcomes by highlighting areas where investment can be more effective.
  • Transparency and participation: One benefit of outcome-based budgets is increased transparency and participation in the budget process. It enables stakeholders to identify linkages between funds allocated and proposed outcomes. In this way, stakeholders can recognise whether the stated outcomes have been achieved.
  • Accountability: Another benefit of outcomes-based budgeting is improved accountability of the government to the legislature and the public. Clear linkages between funding and outcomes help to measure the effectiveness of intervention programmes. It also assists in clarifying the roles and responsibilities of politicians and civil servants in achieving identified priorities.
  • Highlights government spending inefficiencies: The transparency afforded by outcomes-based budgeting enables stakeholders to see results from budget objectives and to identify mechanisms by which they are not achieved. Stakeholders can assess for themselves whether funds expended on achieving a particular outcome provided value for money.
  • Under outcome-based budgeting greater transparency of costs, resources and performance has encouraged government agencies to restructure budgets, reduce spending and better align budget resources with performance.
  • Outcomes-based budgets are collaborative in nature, helping to promote coordination and cooperation between departments and agencies, which in turn makes inefficiencies easier to identify.
  • Improved stakeholder services: Such budgeting also can be used as a management tool, to evaluate programmes and services, and thereby facilitate cost-effective use of public money.
  • It can be used by policymakers when articulating government’s goals and objectives and monitoring progress. It is also suggested that outcomes-based budgets integrate funding and objectives by linking envisaged budget with performance. It helps to focus on economy, efficiency and effectiveness, making performance measurement an integral part of budgeting.

Budget management plays a very crucial role in the public finance management system. Experts say “the transformation from the comforts of outlay budgeting to an environment of accountability with outcome-based budgeting is difficult but not impossible. This re-engineering is essential as in the absence of outcome budgeting, budget management may be ineffective and ineffective budget management would weaken the Public Financial Management (PFM) system. A weakened PFM could even threaten established economic, social and political equilibriums”.

Disadvantage of outcome-based budgeting

  • Additional costs: The mapping of targets to funding may not be a ‘practical or even efficient use of resources’. The additional analysis to assign funding to outcomes may result in additional costs and add confusion to the entire budgeting process.
  • Getting accurate and relevant outcome-based data is quite difficult as it involves a lot of technicalities.
  • The outcomes are driven by multiple internal and external factors. So for single budgets to drive multiple outcomes it can be tricky to find a direct correlation between resources deployed and outcomes achieved.
  • Because of time constraints there is insufficient external input.
  • Many services are rooted in statutory obligations which can inhibit resource re-prioritisation and also flexibility over some outcomes.
  • Another challenge is to develop metrics and refine sub-outcomes.
  • The number of government-identified outcomes may be problematic. Actually governments often introduce large numbers of outcomes that can dilute the usefulness of the available data and discourage stakeholders from using them.

Thus, weaknesses in the existing system need to be accepted and a roadmap for budgeting in terms of outcomes needs to be worked out.

Outcome-based Budgeting in India

The performance budget in India was discontinued in 2006-07. Then certain ministries of the government of India were required to produce an outcome budget. In the year 2005, India showed its interest in adopting outcome budgeting for the first time. The then Finance minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, presented the country’s first-ever outcome budget in 2005-06. However, this budget was more in the nature of a pre-expenditure statement to the Parliament.  Now in India the outcome-based budgeting is practised by most of the ministries while preparing their budget details and submitting it to the Ministry of Finance for preparation of the annual budget.

The traditional budgeting has lot of drawbacks in India and hence efficiency needs to improve with the true adoption of outcome budgeting. The outcome budget is expected to sharpen the budgetary projections by listing the projected outcomes under various schemes programmes. It will lead to efficient service delivery, transparency and accountability. Experts say that “the true potential of an outcome budget as an effective tool for management and accountability and for improving the outcomes of government programmes, remains untapped”.

The outcome budgets being produced by ministries are in fact, not outcome budgets- they are in effect ‘outlay budgets’ only. They are merely a compilation of the intentions of programme divisions in terms of some vague targets, which would often fail to become ‘outcomes’. It is meant to be a management tool. In practice, it has become yet another report of support organisations within ministries. However, it will be naïve to infer that an outcome budget is impracticable.

India needs effective programmes to eradicate poverty and to meet the needs of primary health and education. Resources committed without precise outcomes, and without accountability might get deflected and wasted. For example: The traditional incremental budgeting framework will be concerned about the number of toilets constructed. But this traditional budgeting framework completely misses the difference between doing the job and doing it well. An outcomes-based approach shifts the perspective to the short and long-term outcomes of government schemes. It is not concerned about the mere numbers of toilet construction. Rather it will focus on other aspects in terms of outcomes. If toilets are clean and functional and did open defecation reduce? The outcome budget has its focus on concrete outcomes rather than mere outlays and numbers.

Thus, the framework of outcome-based budgeting seeks to enshrine this approach within governments by linking budgetary outlays to specific outputs (tangible services or infrastructure provided) and outcomes (short or long-term benefits to the people). It arms citizens with data to hold governments accountable. Logically, it empowers the governments to better orient the bureaucracy towards results. Hence, the outcome-based budgeting framework is “an historic innovation for ushering in transparency and accountability in public spending”.  

Roadblocks in the path of efficient implementation of the outcome-based budgeting

  • Firstly, much of the developmental interventions in India are routed through the state governments. Other than a few progressive states, the key line departments and other organizations in most states are yet to adopt planning and service delivery processes which are oriented towards outcomes.
  • Secondly, there also exists limited knowledge and understanding on the linkage between specific government interventions and the outcomes they are likely to impact. With multiple programmes operating in the same sector, additional statistical analysis based on past data would need to be conducted to understand cause-effect relationships better. Data on key outcomes in individual sectors for all states is available. But there is a need to check the consistency of this data set and also the underlying processes used for collection and collation of this data.
  • Thirdly, there is also the inhibiting factor of institutional resistance in the substantive implementation of outcome-based budgeting.

The following corrective actions need to be taken in order to improve outcome-based budgeting in India:

  • Programmes need to be taken up only when outcomes can be spelt out.
  • Programmes need to be implemented only if an effective and timely feedback system is in place.
  • Internal audit organisations in ministries need to play a legitimate role by giving an independent objective assurance to the officers managing the programmes.
  • Capacity needs to be improved at the junior levels of programme implementation.
  • There needs to be flexibility in the hiring of officers related with programme at senior levels as heads of programme divisions in ministries. Professional expertise should be the only criterion for selection.
  • There is a need for an appropriate Centre-State institutional framework to standardize a set of outcome/output indicators at the sector (health, education etc.) level and put in place systems and processes for collecting and collating outcome related information together with interventions which are being or are proposed to be used for impacting these outcomes.

Steps taken by the Government of India to strengthen the outcome-based budgeting

In the year 2016, the Finance Ministry tightened norms under which each ministry and department have to prepare an outcome budget in consultation with NITI Aayog to achieve certain objectives within a time frame.

The Ministries/departments were asked to prepare an outcome budget statement linking outlays against each scheme as well as project with the deliverables and medium term outcomes. The outcome budget has to be prepared after finalisation of the estimates for budgetary allocation.

The output/deliverables should be given in measurable/quantitative terms as per the Finance Ministry directive. Additionally, the deliverables are to be decided in advance in consultation with Department of Expenditure and the NITI Aayog.

Actually, the Finance Ministry is trying to shift from traditional performance-based budgeting by planning expenditure, fixing appropriate targets and quantifying deliverables of each scheme. Hence, it has sought to strengthen the framework of outcome-based budgeting. This framework is going to be crucial for the developmental administration in India.

There is a need to deal with the problems related with the implementation of outcome-based budgeting. A robust framework of outcome-based budgeting is needed. It will bolster India’s developmental administration. It will lead to increased governance and accountability. Consequently, it will assist in India becoming a developed country.

Gender Budgeting

The gender-budgeting is defined as “gender-based assessment of budgets incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality”.  It is actually budgeting for gender equity. It is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men. It is not an accounting exercise but an ongoing process of keeping a gender perspective in policy/programme formulation, its implementation and review. It entails dissection of the government budgets to establish its gender-differential impacts and to ensure that gender commitments are translated into budgetary commitments.

Rationale for Gender Budgeting in India

The rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation. Women constitute 48 percent of India’s population. However, they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they deserve special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. The sensible way in which government budgets allocate resources under the gender budgeting framework has the potential to transform these gender inequalities. In view of this, gender budgeting, as a tool for achieving gender mainstreaming, has been propagated.

Gender equality is not just a fundamental human right but achieving gender equality also brings tremendous socioeconomic benefits. Several studies have shown that reducing gender inequality has many positive effects and leads to higher growth rates, healthier children, improved labour productivity and a more responsive government. Thus, gender responsive budgets, and related policies, will contribute towards achieving gender equality. It will simultaneously improve the population’s welfare and lead to more sustainable and inclusive growth and employment.

A Brief History of Gender Budgeting in India

The Year 2001:         

  • Special reference by the Finance Minister of India in his Budget speech.
  • Study on Gender Related Economic Policy Issues by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP).
  • The second interim report of the NIPFP (August 2001), for the first time, analysed the Union Budget 2001-02 from a gender perspective.

The Years 2002 and 2003:   

  • Analysis of Budgets of select States was undertaken by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD).
  • Expenditure on women was elicited from the Union Budgets in the succeeding years 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and the broad results were reflected in the Annual Reports of the Department of Women and Child Development. This became a step forward in the direction of Gender Analysis of the Union Budget
  • In January 2003, the Cabinet Secretary of the Government of India, recommended the suggestion that Ministries/Departments should have a chapter on Gender issues in their Annual Reports. Many Ministries/Departments have since been reporting on the same, which forms a major basis of reviewing the achievements on Gender Budgeting within the Ministries/Departments.

The Year 2004          

  • The Union Ministry of Finance constituted an expert group on classification system of government transactions “to examine the feasibility of and suggest the general approach to Gender Budgeting and economic classification”.
  • An Inter-Departmental Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary, the Department of Expenditure. This committee argued about the need for opening Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) in all Ministries/ Departments.
  • The instructions were issued by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, in December, 2004 to all Ministries/ Departments to establish a ‘Gender Budgeting Cell’.

The Year 2005-06

Since 2005-06, the Expenditure Division of the Ministry of Finance has been issuing a note on Gender Budgeting as a part of the Budget Circular every year.

The Year 2007          

A Charter for Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) issued on 8th March 2007, by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, outlining the composition of GBCs and their functions. It had its own symbolic significance as it was done on the eve of women’s Day.

The year 2010           

The Planning Commission also argued for a gender-responsive budgeting or gender budgeting.

Key Focus Areas in Gender Budgeting

The Gender Budgeting Cells (GBCs) are envisaged to serve as focal points for coordinating gender budgeting initiatives within their Ministries and across Departments.

One of the key focus areas of the Ministry of Women and Child development (MWCD) has been strengthening internal and external capacities and building expertise on Gender Budgeting. For this, the MWCD has been engaged in conducting a number of trainings, workshops, one to one interactions/discussions and development of resource materials.

The MWCD, in collaboration with UN Women, has also developed a Manual and Handbook for Gender Budgeting for Gender Budget Cells for Central Ministries and Departments.

Purposes of Gender-Budgeting

  • To promote accountability and transparency in fiscal planning;
  • To increase gender responsive participation in the budget process, for example by undertaking steps to involve women and men equally in budget preparation;
  • To advance gender equality and women’s rights;
  • Integrating a gender budgeting methodology into the ordinary budgetary processes allows governments to better understand how revenue and spending, and the policies guiding the budget, can have different impacts on women and men.
  • Since gender perspectives are normally not taken into account in budgeting, budgets are often perceived as being gender neutral. However, research shows that lack of attention to gender issues actually leads to gender-blind budgets and thus to suboptimal decision-making. Hence, to address gender inequality gender budgeting is a must.
  • Gender budgeting is grounded in gender analysis, which assesses how well a budget addresses gender gaps and reviews the actual distribution of resources between women and men. Such an analysis also allows for the inclusion of key issues that are frequently overlooked in budgets and policy analyses. Such issues are the economic effect of uneven distribution of unpaid work and its net economic effect on women, the uneven distribution of resources within families. Sound gender analysis leads to good planning and budgeting for gender equality and economic growth.
  • Gender budgeting is about restructuring the budget to ensure that the government is using public resources in a way that can increase gender equality and thereby increase the efficiency and effectiveness of budgets and policies. This in turn helps accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth.

Key Enabling factors for gender budgeting

  • Effective implementation of gender budgeting requires political commitment matched with a technical capacity for gender mainstreaming. Engaged leadership is of particular importance to ensure that gender equality is integrated into the planning and budgeting processes. Moreover, it ensures that public budget revenues and expenditures benefit women and men equally.
  • Political will and political leadership, demonstrated through active political commitment to promote gender equality, is the most important enabling factor. In order to achieve real progress, gender budgeting must be backed by a responsive and accountable central government. Political will can be demonstrated through raising awareness among key actors, such as the Parliament, political parties, regional and local assemblies and their consultative bodies. It can also be evidenced by voicing support for gender responsive budgets in public or adopting clear political guidance for gender budgeting work. It can also be made mandatory to include gender perspectives into the budget and related policies.
  • High-level commitment of public administrative institutions is an important enabling factor. By issuing clear instructions for implementation and follow-up, civil servants are able to contribute to meeting the government’s gender equality commitments. Improved technical capacity of civil servants to implement policy and budget guidance for gender budgeting is extremely important. However, it should be coupled with the public administration’s political will and commitment to gender equality to ensure that ambitions and ability are matched.
  • Civil society has an important role to play in ensuring that governments are held accountable for meeting international and national gender equality commitments. It can also play a crucial role in linking government to society and promoting participatory and gender-sensitive budgetary processes.
  • Sex-disaggregated data is an enabling factor in conducting gender analyses of budgets. Therefore, national statistics and management information systems in ministries, public agencies and research institutes play a crucial role. It is also important to collect information on topics such as the distribution of unpaid work between women and men. This data is required to formulate evidence-based gender equality targets and objectives and to systematically monitor progress.

Essential pre-conditions for effective implementation of Gender Budgeting

  • Scientific Analysis of budgets and polices from a gender perspective: Gender budgeting starts with a gendered analysis of the budget. Gender analyses of budgets or parts of budgets help to gain an understanding and raise awareness of the gender differentiated impacts of budget allocations or revenue policies. They can highlight how public policies, combined with budget expenditures, respond to the potentially different needs of women and men. The analysis will help governments to make evidence-based decisions on how to prioritise and allocate resources to reach gender equality objectives.
  • Linking gender budgeting to overall gender equality objectives: The avowed aim of gender budgeting is to promote gender equality. For this reason, to ensure consistency, it is important to make clear links between budget allocations and programmes and the gender equality objectives.
  • Restructuring budgets and amending policies: Gender budgeting aims to restructure budgets and change policies in order to address existing inequalities and achieve gender equality. This means that gender budget analysis is not an end in itself. Based on evidence produced through gender analysis, the necessary changes in budget allocations and related policies need to be implemented. Thus, governments can use scarce resources more efficiently and effectively while at the same time working towards promoting gender equality.
  • Integrating gender perspectives throughout the budget cycle: In the spirit of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting should be integrated throughout the budget cycle. This means moving from isolated gender analysis to a comprehensive approach. Such an approach will take into account gender perspectives in policy and budget planning, decision-making and implementation as well as in auditing, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of achievements: Regularly monitoring activities to assess achievements and progress towards meeting gender equality objectives is a crucial part of gender budgeting. This monitoring can either be integrated into the regular process of performance monitoring and evaluation, or there can be a separate process for tracking work on gender budgeting.
  • Transparency of the budget process: Transparency and participation are key principles of good budgeting. Logically they are also integral parts of gender budgeting. Gender budgeting work can contribute to increasing transparency. It will make information about budgets, and the impacts of budgets on women and men, more accessible. Consequently, it can increase government accountability. Civil society can also play a role in promoting the transparency of the budget process.
  • Participation in the budget process: Promoting equal participation in budget processes can take many forms. Gender budgeting builds on good governance and also aims to increase stakeholder participation in the process through consultations and use of data. Gender budgeting in itself does not guarantee a participatory process. Targeted measures need to be applied to make the budget process inclusive.  

Different Approaches to Gender Budgeting

  • Mainstreaming gender perspectives into the whole process of public finance management: This is a comprehensive approach integrating gender perspectives from strategic planning to budgeting and implementation, as well as auditing and evaluation.
  • Integrating gender perspectives into performance-based budgeting: This approach focuses on integrating gender perspectives and gender equality priorities when defining targets, objectives, activities and indicators in order to measure them. In countries like Austria, Sweden and Finland gender perspectives are systematically applied in resource allocation and in performance-setting.
  • Categorising budget programmes and gender analysis requirements: This approach aims to identify budget programmes of particular relevance for gender equality, and to link them with the specific requirements of gender budgeting implementation.
  • Linking gender budgeting and participatory budgeting: There are various ways to combine both these budgeting approaches. Participatory budgeting is not automatically ‘gender just’, and gender budgeting is not automatically participatory. Gender blind participatory budgeting actions often lead to the under-representation of women and possible gender biases in the results of participatory budget processes. A special effort is therefore needed to integrate gender perspectives into the whole participatory process.
  • Tracking financial allocations to promote women’s rights and gender equality: The approach of tracking financial allocations can take many different forms. It is aimed at highlighting the amount and share of resources allocated for the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality.
  • Applying standard gender budgeting tools: These standard methods include gender aware policy and budget appraisal, gender disaggregated public expenditure, sex-disaggregated analysis of the impact of budgets, gender aware budget statements etc. Many, but not all gender budgeting initiatives make use of these tools in one form or another.
  • Well-being gender budgeting: Well-being gender budgeting is an approach inspired by the general wellbeing approaches in economics. The main focus is on directing attention towards the impact policies have on women’s and men’s wellbeing, in all its multiple dimensions and complexity.

Challenges in implementation of gender-budgeting framework

  • Challenge of establishing meaningful coordination: The practice of gender budgeting typically involves co-ordination amongst various government departments. For example, in Iceland the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Equality work together to prepare a gender budgeting programme as part of the gender budgeting requirements. Because of the cross-cutting nature of gender budgeting work meaningful coordination amongst various ministries/departments should be established to formulate gender-responsive policies.
  • Availability of gender disaggregated data is another critical challenge: An important development along the path of gender-responsive policy making is the collection of gender disaggregated data. Data and evidence supporting decision making are pivotal to enable governments to develop effective gender sensitive and evidence based policies and gender equality strategies for inclusive growth. For example, in countries like Norway and Sweden gender disaggregated data is routinely available in required depth. This helps in formulation of better gender-responsive budgets. This logically gets reflected in better rankings of Norway and Sweden in human development index (HDI).
  • The persistence of gender-based inequalities across women from different social backgrounds is a major challenge. Quite often women from disadvantaged social backgrounds and from rural areas are unable to take benefits of many government programmes meant for them. The concrete outcomes of gender-budgeting are yet to reflect on the ground.

Conclusion

The global advances towards gender equality require multiple strategies of which gender budgets are an important tool towards ensuring government commitment to gender equality.  However, gender budgets have to be embedded within the radical politics of the feminist movement to question power hierarchies perpetuated by both government and non-government organizations. There is a need of purposive gender budgeting and effective monitoring. It should be linked to outcomes so that the positive changes are visible on the ground in terms of substantive women empowerment.   

 

 

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