A new budget for new India. Let’s see how.
Our Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley presented this budget today on 1st February 2018. As he was presenting this budget, the social media was full of tweets, posts and different perspectives. While few are calling this a Pakoda Budget, few are naming it a budget of foresight. Soon after the Budget speech finished, our Prime Minister, Mr. Modi addressed the nation through a live Facebook feed and congratulated Mr. Jaitley on presenting a budget which will prove to be a foundation for New India. He mentioned that this budget will definitely strengthen the hopes and expectations of India. This budget expands from Agriculture to Infrastructure, From Health schemes for the lower middle class to wealth schemes for MSME’s. , From Digital India to Startup India. He exclaimed that this budget is Common Man friendly, Farmer Friendly, Business Environment-Friendly and also Development Friendly.
Few Highlights of the budget are:
Apart from these three: the tax rebate of 5% on MSME’s might benefit women entrepreneurs who are running small businesses. Earlier they were paying 30% tax now the need to pay 25%, this is not a women-specific scheme.
Rs 3 Crore to lend under Mudraa Yojana is not a women-specific scheme, but as per the tweet of Amit Shah, this will especially benefit women given that 76% of loans given so far are to women.
This data itself tells that women are coming up in bigger number to get self-employed and are running small businesses from home. They contribute to the MSME economy more than men so they deserve better budget allocation, especially for women. The new budget missed this.
This budget is not a wholesome budget, though PM Modi clearly mentions in his post Budget speech that the budget is to strengthen the weaker section of societies like Dalit, ST, BPL, Lower middle-class segment and women. The budget is not a forward-looking budget for women. This budget is a boom for agriculturists and will surely benefit the women in “easy living” as suggested again and again, but definitely not an “Empowering” budget.
What could have been better?
Keeping in mind that one of the major agenda of BJP manifesto was Woman empowerment and woman safety, these points should definitely have been the part of our budget this time.
The major steps taken for the bigger vote bank the farmers and agriculturists is really praiseworthy, but can we call this budget a woman empowering budget? The answer is No.