Laxmi Capital News
Budget for gender sensitivity and climate change to see new record

The budget allocations relevant for climate changeadaptation and gender sensitivity, as segregated in the federal budget, willreach a new high in the next fiscal year.

The budget tabled in the parliament earlier thisweek has allotted more funds on headings relevant for climate change and gendersensitivity, according to a comparison of the red book for the current fiscalyear and a proposed amount for the next fiscal year.

A total of Rs 488 billion is directly or indirectlyrelevant for climate change adaptation, and this categorization is done as perthe budget. There are 11 different indicators to assess the budget relevant forthe climate change. 

Of this, a total of Rs 60 billion will be directlyrelevant to mitigate the challenges of the climate change, while the indirectlyclimate change relevant budget stands at Rs 428 billion. This is an incrementby 8 percent compared the current fiscal year. Such allocation is only Rs 393billion—Rs 57 billion directly relevant and Rs 335 billion indirectly relevant—inthe current fiscal year. 

The gender sensitive budget allocation proposed forthe next fiscal year is Rs 958 billion—Rs 508 billion directly beneficial andRs 450 indirectly beneficial to gender issues—which is an increment by 7percent from Rs 895 billion of the current fiscal year.  

Such categorization of the budget spending isregarded as a modern way of budget-making, and it indicates that the governmenthas given attention to these sectors though its outcomes have not yet beenmeasured. Some critics, however, are of the view that these are not fullyrealistic and are taken just for categorization. Any activity that gives 50percent or more benefits to women are categorized as directly beneficial towomen, while activities with 20 to 50 percent benefits are regarded asindirectly gender-sensitive. 

According to the Secretary for the Ministry ofAgriculture, Land Management, and Cooperatives, Gopinath Mainali, there existsa practice, although a bit liberal, to make categorization during budget-makingin terms of climate change relevance and gender sensitivity. 

“This is an example of how the government has givenattention in its budget planning--from project selection to budgetimplementation--in an attempt to go for a very modern way of budget-making,” hesaid. Mainali was the national focal person while starting this categorizationduring his stint at the National Planning Commission as a jointsecretary. 

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) hasshowcased Nepal’s climate-relevant achievements at several public events. Nepalearned a UN award in 2013 for taking leadership in these efforts. According toMainali, “Many other countries have also learned from Nepal in thissector-specific budget categorization.”

Lawmaker of the National Assembly, Bimala Paudel,who is also a gender analyst, said that the move to categorize budget as genderspecific was praiseworthy but more works were needed to see its real outcomes.

“We need to change the approach of mere mechanicalcalculation of gender categorization. Its real outcomes need to be analyzed indetail,” said Paudel, adding that the indicators of categorization should bemade by trained people.

Source: MyRepublica, 3rd June 2018

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