NO FURTHER INCREASE IN REMUNERATION
Not even half of adequate allocation necessary for the increase announced in September 2018
Anganwadi workers and helpers of India will organise protest in Delhi on 25 February 2019
In the interim budget 2019-20, BJP government has again cheated the 26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers. The budget has neglected not only the long pending demands of the anganwadi workers and helpers but also has neglected the crucial question of malnutrition in the country.
The Prime Minister had declared increase in remuneration of anganwadi workers, mini workers and helpers on 11 September 2018. He also declared that it will be implemented from 1 October 2018 and the workers will get it before Deepavali. But till date the anganwadi workers and helpers in most of the states are yet to receive it. In the budget speech the Interim Finance Minister has mentioned the increase in remuneration of anganwadi and ASHA workers declared by the Prime Minister in September, in such a way to create an impression that there is further increase in remuneration of anganwadi employees.
But the budget figures reveal that the budget allocation is not even adequate to implement the increase announced by the Government in September 2018. The PIB release on 11 September 2018 says that the additional budgetary allocation necessary for the increase for a period from 1.10.2018 to 31.3.2020 is Rs.10,649.41crores. Sixty percent of this amount which is required for the increased remuneration for an year will be Rs.4259 crores. But the budget allocation for ‘Anganwadi Services’ in the budget for Umbrella ICDS for the year 2019-20 is only Rs.19, 834.37 crores, an increase only by Rs.1944.18crores from the last years revised budget of Rs.Rs.17,870.19cr. This is not even half of what is required to implement the increase.
The budget does not mention anything about the pension for the anganwadi employees which the government has been promising since 2014. The irony is that the Government of India stated in September 2017 that it is going to spent Rs.12,000cr (PIB release dated 20 September 2017 ) for the increased allocation for the supplementary nutrition in the anganwadi centres. This means an additional Rs.6000cr per year for nutrition. But neither the budget last year nor this year includes this allocation. It is obvious that the Modi led BJP government, even in this election budget, tried to misguide the anganwadi workers and helpers as well as the people of the country while neglecting the 2crore mothers and 10 crore children under six years. There is no allocation or mention on converting anganwadi centres to full time crèches to ensure the childcare service to the unorganized sector working women. On the contrary, the government has already decided to introduce direct cash transfer in place of nutrition ICDS and has started two pilot projects.
AIFAWH will organise a massive mobilization in New Delhi on 25 February 2019 against non allocation of adequate Funds, against Cash transfer and for the implementation of 45th ILC recommendations on minimum wages and pension for the scheme workers. AIFAWH calls upon all the state unions and all the anganwadi workers and helpers of the country to protest against the BJP government’s anti worker policies and join enmasse in the protest at Delhi on 25 February 2019. We request the working people of the country to extend full support to our struggles to Save ICDS.
A. R. Sindhu