New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget for 2024 today in Parliament, just before the Lok Sabha elections. While presenting the budget, Sitharaman mentioned that the empowerment of women through entrepreneurship, ease of living, and dignity has gained momentum in the last 10 years.
In the fiscal year 2024-25, the Women and Child Development Ministry has received a budgetary allocation of Rs 26,000 crore, reflecting a 2.52 percent increase compared to the previous budget. The highest share of funds, amounting to Rs 21,200 crore, has been earmarked for the Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 initiatives (encompassing ICDS – Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls).
Following closely is the Mission Shakti, focused on the protection and empowerment of women, which has been granted a budget of Rs 3,145.97 crore. (Also Read: Interim Budget 2024: Key Takeaways From Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget Speech)
From economic opportunities to social welfare, let’s delve into the female-centric budget highlights shaping the fiscal landscape
-Under the PM Mudra Yojana, a staggering 43 crore loans amounting to Rs 22.5 lakh crore have been granted. Notably, over the past decade, an impressive 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans have been specifically provided to women.
-As of November 24, 2023, within the framework of Stand-up India (SUPI), 84% of the 2.09 lakh sanctioned loans have been granted to women entrepreneurs, totaling 1.77 lakh loans.
-She also highlighted noteworthy statistics, such as a 28% increase in female enrollment in higher education over the past decade. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43% of enrollment, one of the highest in the world.
-The government intends to encourage the administration of cervical cancer vaccinations for girls aged nine to fourteen. (Also Read: Health Ministry Allocated Over Rs 90,658 Crore In interim Budget)
-Currently, there are 83 lakh self-help groups (SHGs) comprising nine crore women. These groups play a crucial role in enhancing socio-economic conditions in rural areas.
-A notable advancement in this domain was the heightened focus on ‘Lakhpati Didis’—self-help group workers striving to achieve a sustainable annual income of at least one lakh rupees.
-She boosted the goals of the ‘Lakhpati Didis,’ self-help group workers dedicated to achieving a sustainable annual income of at least one lakh rupees. Encouraged by the success, the decision has been made to raise the target for Lakhpati Didis from 2 crores to 3 crores.