With the union budget to be presented Feb 26, women's rights groups are urging Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to allocate more money for schemes that directly benefit women.
Ranjana Kumari of the Women Power Connect (WPC) said in a letter to the finance minister that was signed by other women's groups: 'Last year's budget speech was a big disappointment as a large part of the budgetary allocations showed a decline in the over all funds earmarked for the ministry of women and child development (MWCD)'.
'This year we hope that there is a substantial increase in funds for women friendly schemes and programmes under the MWCD,' she added.
Kumari said some laws are not being implemented well simply because there are not enough funds being allocated for their implementation.
'While the Domestic Violence Act is in place, a majority of women are not able to avail the benefits provided under the Act because no funds have been allocated for it. The union government says it is a state subject while the states do not give adequate funds for its implementation as they believe they have other priorities,' she said.
'We also request the government to form a women's skill development fund which promotes institutions training women workers in area specific market skills,' Kumari said.
The other groups that associated themselves with the petition were Saathi and Centre for Social Research.