NEW DELHI: India needs to significantly increase the budget for the family planning sector, else it may fall short of the commitment to provide the services to 48 million new users in the country by 2020, a new study said today.
The study by Population Foundation of India, or PFI, said the country would need to spend about Rs 15,800 crore, if not more, during 2013-2020, to meet its commitment of providing additional family planning services through public funded providers to 48 million people.
At Family Planning 2020 – a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide for themselves when and how many children they want to have – India had committed to reaching 48 million new users, in addition to the existing 100 million users of family planning services.
“Any delay in doing so or any gap that may result because of paucity of resources would cost the country dear in terms of high maternal and infant mortality, morbidity and poor child health resulting from poorly spaced pregnancies,” the PFI said in a statement.
Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand as well as Assam and Himachal Pradesh need greater focus and commitment on the issue, it said.
“Family planning, which is almost fully funded by the Central government, has received very little attention from it as compared to other health programmes. Family Welfare, which includes the budget for family planning constituted only 4 per cent of the 2014-15 Health and Family Welfare budget,” the study said.
The share for family planning within the family welfare budget has been further reduced to around 10-15 per cent with subsequent curtailment in contraceptive procurement and social marketing, it stated.
“The study on resource requirements for India to meet its FP2020 commitments indicates that it would need to spend at least Rs 15,800 crore by 2020 to achieve this goal as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The need of the hour is to work closely with the private sector and civil society to make this promise a reality,” Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of PFI said.