What One Chart and One Table of Budget Keywords Tell Us About Official Priorities

Credit: Shome Basu

Credit: Shome Basu

The latest Budget speech perpetuates a chronic blindness to basic social needs. Children are not mentioned at all and nor are (say) nutrition, social security or maternity entitlements.

Keyword Number of citations
2014 2016
Investment 34 23
Growth 31 20
NREGA/employment guarantee 2 1
Nutrition 2 0
Social security 1 0
Children 0 0
Integrated Child Development Services 0 0
Midday meals/school meals 0 0
Maternity/maternity entitlements 0 0
National food security act 0 0
Pensions (other than organized sector) 0 0
National Health Mission 0 1a

a “Funds will be made available through PPP mode under the National Health Mission, to provide dialysis services in all district hospitals.”

The 2016-17 budget also continues the long-standing trend of ignoring the social sector at the expense of defence:

Defence Expenditure vs Spending on the Social Sector

Defence Expenditure vs Spending on the Social Sector (in crores of rupees)

  • kautilya_in

    So, your argument is that defense does not have corruption? Where are the details? As it is, the defense ministry is unable to utilitize its budget. About the social sector, MR Modi already has Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar (about which he protested 2 years back), and what not. Why can’t he implement Direct Benefit Transfer for NREGA to reduce corruption?