​WCD Ministry considering cash transfers under ICDS, decision soon: Secretary

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 20, 2017

Cabinet approves increase in diet rates for supplementary nutrition in Anganwadis

The Centre is considering cash transfers under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) instead of take home rations for children under three and pregnant and lactating mothers in Anganwadis.

“DBT (direct benefits transfer) is being considered in the Ministry (Women & Child Development), and a decision will be taken soon,” Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, WCD Ministry said at a media briefing.

The cash transfer proposal under consideration is reportedly based on a recent report prepared by the NITI Aayog on “Reforming Take Home Rations (THR) under the ICDS Scheme”.

Supplementary nutrition

Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at its meeting on Wednesday approved an increase in the cost norms for supplementary nutrition provided in Anganwadis and in the scheme for adolescent girls (out of school 11-14 years) under the ICDS. The hike would cost the government above ₹12,000 crore annually.

The Cabinet also approved annual cost indexation for diet rates, based on the Consumer Price Index for Rural Labour.

“This addresses a long-standing anomaly and ensures that the changes in norms keep pace with changes in costs on an annual basis,” an official release said.

The revised rates are as follows: Children (6-72 months) from ₹6/day to ₹8/day; Pregnant & lactating women from ₹7/day to ₹9.50/day; Severely malnourished from ₹9/day to ₹12/day, and Adolescent girls (11-14 years out of school) from ₹5/day to ₹9.50/day.

The cost revision for 11 crore beneficiaries of Aanganwadi services would cost the government an additional expenditure of ₹9,900 crore, and for beneficiaries of adolescent girls, it would cost ₹2,267.18 crore as the Centre’s share for a period from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the release added.

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Published on September 20, 2017
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