Ex-post Gender Sensitive Analysis of Union Budget 2006-07
Publication dateJan, 2006
DetailsReport submitted to the UNIFEM and Government of India
AuthorsLekha S. Chakraborty
Prima facie, budgets appear to be gender neutral. But the budgetary policies can have differential impacts on men and women due to systemic differences in their access to public services. Gender budgeting aims at examining the expenditure allocation through a gender lens. The project critically examines the approach and methodology of sensitising financial allocations through gender budgeting initiatives in India. The analysis revealed that visible gender allocations in the recent budget — both specifically targeted programmes for women and pro-women allocations — constituted only 5 percent of the total budget; sectoral analysis revealed that higher budgetary allocations per se do not mean higher spending; there exist significant deviations in budget estimates and actual spending. Expenditure tracking surveys are required to analyse these deviations. There is also an urgent need to strengthen the system of unit cost and units utilised across gender to undertake periodic gender disaggregated benefit incidence analysis (BIA) to analyse impact of skewed gender differentials in the distributional impacts of public expenditure. Policy implications arising from the analyses are that transparency of gender sensitive budgetary allocations needs to be ensured for accountability; however, earmarking public expenditure for women is only the second best principle of gender budgeting.