What women can expect from Union Budget 2018

With consistent efforts towards empowering women with several schemes, the Modi government has raised some expectations from this year’s budget. Yet, there is a long way to go for India to stand in the category of developed nations.

  • Published 25.01.18
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With consistent efforts towards empowering women with several schemes, the Modi government has raised some expectations from this year’s budget. Yet, there is a long way to go for India to stand in the category of developed nations.

The women of this country are expecting changes made in favour of them in this budget. They want to be able to legally contribute to the economy.

What women can expect this year from the budget are:

A rural woman making basket at her home for selling in traditional handicraft bazaar. Image: Shutterstock

More Employment Opportunities

Last year, a large number of women were employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). With the help of this programme, 5.04 crore households have been provided with employment out of which 56% were women, government data suggests. Many expect the government to focus on addressing the rural employment situation. Women in rural India can expect new employment opportunities.

Tax relief

Prime Minister Modi, in one of his speeches, has hinted towards a cut in the income tax slabs for the working class. This could also help working women and help them save more from what they earn.

Equal Rights with Awareness

The government allocated close to Rs 1,000 crore towards women empowerment in the budget last year. Equal rights, economic opportunities, legal aid are a few stated things that have been provided to women among many others. But it is repeatedly witnessed that there is a considerable lack of awareness in women about the availability of schemes that are provided for their benefit. The government may have to spend more resources towards creating awareness on ways women can avail benefits under various government schemes. 

Increase in Funds for Women and Child Development

The increase in the funds to the Ministry of Women and Child Development last year could be expected to give results this year too. It is important for the government to focus on the development and success of this ministry. Along with that, the government should keep enhancing and introducing new women-specific schemes.

Maternity Benefits for Women

Like last year, you can expect this year’s budget too to provide financial assistance to pregnant women and lactating mothers. The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), Centre’s key maternity benefit programme for pregnant and lactating mothers, went up considerably from Rs 400 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 21,000 crore in 2017-18.

Support For Working Women

Nowadays, women-led start-ups are on the rise. This means you can expect measures of investment from the government to help these small companies grow and widen. Schemes and funds could become efficient and readily available. Women today really appreciate a support structure from the masses as well as the government and hence, training programmes will also be greatly appreciated by them.

Sensitivity towards the perils faced by women should be one of the main focuses of this budget. The Modi government has implemented many schemes for the betterment of the status of women around the country and has promised to continue to do so. Women make up a significant part of the economy and can make a considerable contribution towards the growth of the Indian economy.

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