New Delhi, February 01: During the presentation of the Economic Survey 2017-18, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian pointed out that this year’s document is in pink colour and it symbolizes support to the growing worldwide movement to end violence against women.
He emphasized the need for gender-specific measures highlighted in the survey, particularly in the agriculture sector, due to ‘feminisation’ of this segment.
But were these promises vouchsafed in the Union budget?
The widespread demand to cut the 12% GST levied on the sanitary pads were snubbed by the Finance Minister during his Union Budget speech delivered on Thursday.
Although, there were some spurts of reliefs and schemes for women in the last budget of the NDA government.
Here are five key takeaways for women from Union Budget
Arun Jaitley proposed to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crore women living below the poverty line. The Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme which was launched in 2015 under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative has opened 1.26 crore accounts across the country in the name of girl-child, securing an amount of Rs.19,183 crore.
The government increased the allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs. 5750 crore for 2018-19. He said that loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women increased to about Rs. 42,500 crore in 2016-17 and it is expected to reach Rs.75,000 crore by March, 2019.
Jaitley also announced a reduction in the Employee Provident Fund charged from women, the EPF charge was decreased to 8%.
“Facility of fixed term employment to be extended. 12 percent government contribution to EPF for new employees. Women’s contribution to EPF to be reduced to eight percent for first three years,” Jaitley said.
The finance minister emphasized the need to reach out to every household of old, widows, orphaned children, he enumerated the implementation of a comprehensive social security and protection programme. and allocated a sum of Rs. 9, 975 crore the National Social Assistance Programme this year.