Only 18% of India's GDP is owned by women. The figure simply demonstrates the enormous potential that has not yet been realised. Women are an important part of India's rapid growth. Over the past few years, the government has implemented a number of progressive plans and policies, but there is still a long way to go.
We are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, and the Union Budget 2023 would be a great opportunity for the Finance Minister to focus on women's empowerment by providing them with adequate growth opportunities that could help close the gender gap in the economy.
Women want Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to focus on the following five areas in this Budget:
Possession of assets and credit availability
Women hope that the Finance Minister will increase fiscal incentives for women to help close the economic gender gap. Tax breaks on the purchase of assets like cars and property could be examples of women-specific financial incentives. They will be motivated to acquire additional assets as a result, enhancing their economic independence.
Caregiving and pregnancy
With more money from the government, programs for new mothers and pregnant women can do a lot more good. This includes making programs like the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana more accessible to more people. Also, the FM can look into making it easier for women to find affordable childcare, which is one of the biggest obstacles to long-term employment for women. Women will be able to balance work and family obligations as a result of this.
It is common knowledge that women live longer lives than men do and frequently outlive their partners. As a result, in order to provide for themselves in later life, they require a larger retirement fund and a higher pension. The government might think about providing pension plans to those who do not already have one or increasing the amount of women's pensions.
Entrepreneurship by women
Access to financing for female entrepreneurs is a significant obstacle that requires attention. Women hope that women-owned businesses will have easier access to loans and subsidised credit, as well as tax breaks and seed capital grants for women entrepreneurs.
Education, health, and safety
In addition to the several programs that the government is already operating, such as the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, and the National Rural Livelihood Mission, the Budget needs to include provisions that will improve women's access to education, healthcare, and safety. The implementation and reach of these programs could be enhanced with more funding.
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