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Indian Finance Minister’s Budget Includes 58% Increase For Malnutrition Programs

Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s “budget includes a big boost in spending on reducing malnutrition,” with an increase for malnutrition programs of “58 percent in fiscal 2012-13 to 158 billion rupees, or about $3 billion,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports. “Despite its rapid economic growth, India has struggled with persistently high rates of malnutrition, far worse than many worse-performing economies,” according to the blog.

The proposed budget includes a “plan to reorganize the Integrated Child Development Services, the central government-led initiative that has been in charge of the nation’s malnutrition programs, which are run by the states,” the blog writes. According to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, “[t]he goal … was to create a program that tackles the many causes of malnutrition — among them, poor maternal health, bad sanitation, dirty water — in a comprehensive fashion,” the blog notes (Anand, 3/16).