Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gender Responsive Budgeting, as Fiscal Innovation: Evidence from India on “Processes”

NIPFP Working Paper 128

Lekha Chakraborty
January 2014


Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a fiscal innovation. Innovation is defined as a way of transforming a new concept into tangible processes, resources and institutional mechanisms in which a benefit meets identified problems. GRB is a fiscal innovation in that it translates the gender commitments into fiscal commitments through applying a ‘gender lens’ to the identified processes, resources and institutional mechanisms; and arrives at a desirable benefit incidence. Theoretical treatment of gender budgeting as fiscal innovation is not incorporated, as the scope of this paper is broadly on the processes. GRB as an innovation has four specific components: knowledge processes and networking; institutional mechanisms; learning processes and building capacities; and public accountability and benefit incidence. This paper analyses these four components of GRB in the context of India. National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) has been the pioneer on gender budgeting in India, and also played a significant role in institutionalizing gender budgeting within Ministry of Finance, Government of India in 2005. The Expert Committee Group on ‘Classification of Budgetary Transactions” recommendations on gender budgeting (Ashok Lahiri Committee recommendations) led to the institutionalization process, integrating the analytical matrices of fiscal data through a gender lens and also the institutional innovations for GRB. Revisiting to the 2004 Lahiri recommendations and revamping the process of GRB in India is inevitable, at ex-ante and ex-post levels.