Center Allocation to Person with disabilities reduce to 32% in FY 2020-21 and 11% in FY 2021-22 in Budget 2021
In a very shocking and surprise move government in Budget 2021 which was presented by FM on 1 Feb, 2021 has revised and reduce the budget allocated to Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for FY 2020-21 from Budget Estimate of Rs 1325 Crore to Revised Budgeted Estimate of Rs 900 Crore and for FY 2021-22 Budget Estimate of Rs 1171 Crore, which is 32% lower than original Budgeted Figure for FY 2020-21 and 11% lower when compared with FY 2021-22
At one side government wants to empower person with disabilities calling them Divyangjan and on the other side has significantly reduce budget provision for majority of the schemes. Further it is surprising to see that there is Zero capital allocation for setup of any new rehabilitation center or any other center in entire India. All Rs 1171 crore allocated for FY 2021-22 is for revenue expenditure.
As per Research more than 3% of India population suffers from some or other form of disability and not spending any amount on capital expenditure shows lack of government interest to support them and provide them equal opportunity and level playing field.
The total budgeted expenditure of government is 34 Lakh crore and allocation to person with disabilities is just Rs 1171 Crore for Financial Year 2021-22. If we divide with total expenditure of government i.e Rs 1171/3400000 it turn out to be a fraction of 0.000344
The expectations from person with disabilities from Budget 2021 was,
- To increase in limit of 80U to Rs 2 Lakhs
- Increase in Tax free Transport Allowance to Rs 5000 per month
- Reduce GST on purchase of vehicle to 1% concessional rate as most public transport are not accessible
- Covid deduction and allowance for treatment / vaccination for all
- Allocation to make metro and other 100 cities accessible
However government has not given any relief and has reduce the budgeted provisions for various schemes
Highlights of Major reduction in allocation are as follows
1) The Scheme for implementation of Persons with Disability Act was allocated Rs 251 Crore for FY 2020-21 which is now revised to Rs 122 Crore and reduce to Rs 209 Crore for FY 2021-22. This shows seriousness of government to implement Persons with Disability Act which provide equal rights to all
2) Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting
of Aids and Applicances was allocated Rs 230 Crore for FY 2020-21 which is now revised to Rs 195 Crore and reduce to Rs 220 Crore for FY 2021-22.
3) Indian Spinal Injury Centre was allocated Rs 4 Crore in FY 2020-21, however it was not allotted any amount in FY 2021-22. Seems Government had though no one will suffer from Spinal Cord Injury as majority where in lockdown
4) Scholarship for Students with Disabilities was allocated Rs 125 Crore for FY 2020-21 which is now revised to Rs 100 Crore and Rs 125 Crore for FY 2021-22 at same level without any increase.
5) Centre for Disability Sports was allocated Rs 100 Crore for FY 2020-21 which is now revised to Rs 19 Crore and reduce to Rs 53 Crore for FY 2021-22. The Centre encourages the PwD to pursue sports
6) Zero Budget for National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation, which was given 17 Cr in FY 2019-20.
7) Support to National Institutes, which provide professional training courses with a view to develop trained manpower in the disability sector and are providing various other rehabilitation services. These institutes are registered societies and are fully financed by the Central Government. The National Institutes was allocated Rs 360 Crore for FY 2020-21 which is now revised to Rs 260 Crore and reduce to Rs 319 Crore for FY 2021-22.
The Budget 2021 has really disappointed person with disabilities, as it did not provide any relief in Income Tax nor GST, also it reduce allocation significantly. A representation should be made to FM and PM requesting to revise the allocation considering needs at ground level.
The author of the article is CA Chirag Chauhan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org