Staff working paper/discussion paper

Towards A Nutrition-Sensitive Tribal Sub-Plan: Insights From Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh And Odisha

Geographies India

Chandrika Singh , Vani Sethi

Updated 12 Dec 2023
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Background: 4.9 million (42%) tribal children suffer from stunting, a sign of chronic nutrition deprivation. A budgetary strategy to supplement resources - Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), can be tapped for improving nutrition services in tribal pockets across multiple sectors. This study examined TSP earmarking and utilization at Union level and across three states (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha) to assess whether this strategy has been used for nutrition related programmes/ schemes.

Methods: We studied the TSP earmarking of seven Union Ministries (Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development, Public Distribution and Civil Supplies, Rural Development, Agriculture, Drinking Water and Sanitation, and School Education and Literacy) and their respective state Departments. Funds earmarked for TSP were collated from State budget documents for three financial years (2016-17 BE, 2015- 16 RE and 2014-15 AE). Extent of utilization of TSP earmarked was studied for the FY 2014-15 for the three states.

Results: TSP earmarking by majority of Union Ministries and state departments of Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have been below the proportions recommended by the erstwhile Planning Commission. Maharashtra earmarks TSP funds at the beginning of planning exercise, and its earmarking specifically for nutrition has increased but is below the norm. Large proportions of TSP fund remained unspent by the departments in the three states at the end of the fiscal year in 2014-15. Absence of data on physical achievement makes it difficult to ascertain the efficiencies of expenditures.

Conclusion: To ensure TSP is earmarked and utilized for the development of STs, strict monitoring of these funds by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is necessary. New guidelines should be set for TSP earmarking by the government post-merger of plan and non-plan budgets. Simplified routing of TSP as adopted by Maharashtra may be replicated.

Chandrika Singh , Vani Sethi

Updated 12 Dec 2023
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Related Topics Nutrition