New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel on Wednesday rapped Women and Child Development Ministry for letting Nirbhaya Fund "lay idle" for last few years when crimes against women have been on the rise and asked it to come up with concrete steps to ensure their safety.
"Crime against women is on the rise. Many more steps can be taken up to tackle this issue. Concerted efforts have not been taken by the ministry...It is unfortunate that huge funds are lying idle when so much can be done for the protection and welfare of women. It is to be noted that Nirbhaya Fund was available since last 2 to 3 years. It is high time that the ministry should take up this matter earnestly," the panel said in its Action Taken Report.
The Committee has also asked the ministry to submit a status note on the use of the amount.
"The Committee is not satisfied with the action taken by the ministry in this regard. The Committee is of the view that only a small fraction of the fund allotted is utilised," the report said.
"The Committee also desires that a status note on the use of this fund may be submitted to the Committee at the earliest for its perusal," the panel said.
Pointing out that the Nirbhaya Fund had a total of Rs 3000 crore as Rs 1,000 crore was allocated to it for each year from 2013 to 2016, the panel said the ministry has not come up with a clear strategy to ensure its proper utilisation.
"The Committee observes that the ministry has not come up with any concrete action plan to utilise this fund. Women safety is a major priority and to deal with it and prevent the rising crimes against women, it is high time that the ministry comes up with steps to ensure women safety," it said.