New central schemes added in rejig, allocation jumps 12.3%

NEW DELHI: The budget has increased the number of centrally sponsored schemes to 33 from 31 now, adding three new schemes while doing away with one old scheme and replacing one with a new scheme.

The exercise has resulted in a jump of 12.3% in cumulative budgetary allocation for centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) to Rs 3.81 lakh crore in 2021-22 from Rs 3.39 lakh crore budgeted in 2020-21. However, the allocation for the next fiscal is slightly lower than the revised estimates for 2020-21 of Rs 3.87 lakh crore after a substantial increase of Rs 40,000 crore was made to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme amid the pandemic.

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The new schemes proposed to be added under CSS in the next fiscal include Mission Shakti for protection and empowerment of women with an allocation of Rs 3,109 crore, Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojana for cattle and livestock development (Rs 1,177.04 crore), Mission Vatsalya for protection and welfare of children (Rs 900 crore), and Saksham Angwanwadi and Poshan 2.0 to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, with an allocation of Rs 20,105 crore.

Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 will replace the umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Monday.

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The ICDS scheme, a key programme for food, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunisation and health check-up, was allocated Rs 28,557 crore in FY21, which was lowered to Rs 20,038 crore in the revised estimates. The government has also done away with the Rs 1,805-crore White Revolution scheme for the dairy sector.
The government has in recent years rationalised the number of centrally sponsored schemes, bringing it down to 28 in FY17 from 66 earlier. Of these, six schemes are classified as ‘core of the core’ while the rest fall under the core scheme category.

“On the recommendation of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, we have undertaken a detailed exercise to rationalise centrally sponsored schemes. This will enable consolidation of outlays for better impact,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech.

As part of the ongoing rationalisation exercise, the government has also given flexibility to states to administer the related schemes in line with state-specific requirements.