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A delegation of activists and academicians Saturday met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss and submit recommendations for the union budget 2011-12, including provisions of a flexible pool of funds for better implementation of the Domestic Violence Act by the states.

A statement by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), under whose aegis the group went to meet the minister, said that gender budgeting was one aspect they discussed with him.

“A key point discussed was the pressing need to make the objectives, operational guidelines, financial norms and unit costs of existing schemes in various ministries and departments more gender responsive,” the statement said.

“Also the union government could provide a flexible pool of funds to the states for implementing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,” it added.

Among its other recommendations was higher fund allocation for education and health.

“The long overdue promise of raising the government spending on education to six percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is yet to be fulfilled. Also its commitment in 2004 of raising the budgetary allocation to health to two-three percent of the GDP is not yet fulfilled,” the statement said.

The group also said that to ensure that food security becomes an entitlement to all, the Food Security Act must be enacted and with that regard, food subsidy in the union budget should be increased.

Also that norms of the Public Distribution System (PDS) should focus on individuals as the unit for distribution of food grains rather than family.

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