A parliamentary standing committee report has drawn attention to the under-utilisation of the Nirbhaya funds, saying that most of the money is lying idle.”It has been brought to the notice of the Committee that for the past 3 to 4 years, almost all the funds are lying idle. It is a complete irony that on one hand, crimes, against women are on the rise and on the other, funds allotted to tackle this issue has remained un-utilised,” said the report, headed by Satyanarayan Jatia, BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report, the two hundred and seventy eighth under the ministry of women and child development (WCD), was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.Constituted in 2013-14, the fund released for the scheme annually was Rs 1,000 crore. It remained untouched in the first two years despite several proposals mooted by various ministries, as guidelines for the utilisation were missing. In 2015 finally, it was decided that the WCD ministry will be the nodal authority, and the department of economic affairs under the finance ministry will look at financial appraisals of the funds released for the schemes.In 2013, as per the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of rapes committed in the country was 31,967. In 2014, the number of rapes rose to 34,530. The total number of cases of sexual assault in India in 2013 were 67,020. In 2014, this, too, rose to 77,747.Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the two funds that have taken off include the Universal Women’s Helpline, and the One Stop Crisis Centres.It is important to note that when the OSCC were announced, the WCD ministry wanted to have one in every district. Soon enough, these centres were shot down and only one in every state was allowed by the Centre. As of now, the committee report notes that, there are eight operational centres.The report also notes that under the OSCC, total funds of Rs18.58 crore were approved, and of that, Rs 10.17 crore have been allotted. Proposals for 33 states have been cleared, said the report.Under the helpline, Rs 69.49 crore was approved, and an amount of Rs 15.46 crore were released.The remaining Rs 400 crore for 2016-17 has been earmarked for other schemes, and the ministry is currently deliberating on whether the fund will be used for the existing schemes or whether a new scheme will be mooted.


Nirbhaya Funds lying idle while crimes against women rise: Parliament committee