Budget 2014: What’s In Store For The Women Of India?

Posted: July 13, 2014

What does the Indian budget of 2014 have in store for the women of India? Here’s a list!

While it’s heartening to see the emphasis laid on development and economic advancement in Budget 2014, whether it will effectively tackle women’s concerns is to be seen. Here are the promises that the new government has made pertaining to women’s issues:

  • 50 crores to be spent by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on pilot testing a scheme on “Safety for Women on Public Road Transport”. A sum of 150 crores to be spent by Ministry of Home Affairs on a scheme to improve the safety of women in large cities. It is not very clear as to how the concerned ministries will  go about these extremely ambitious projects. The proposed plans have been talked about  several times in the past. We would need to track how and what will be done differently to implement them effectively this time.
  •  The Budget talks about “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana.” This scheme, focused on the girl child,  has been allotted 100 crores. It  is expected to help in generating awareness and also help in improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women.

One of the key concerns about all these schemes and proposals is the absence of a specific time frame. This robs such measures of a sense of urgency and can affect results on the ground, as has happened with many schemes in the past.

What to look forward to:

  •  “Crisis Management Centres” are to be set up in all the districts of NCT of Delhi this year in all government and private hospitals. The funding will be provided from the Nirbhaya Fund. Even though this is a continuation of the previous government’s wishes, this point is more specific and therefore there is likelihood of better implementation.

  • Ajeevika, the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), aims to eliminate rural poverty through sustainable livelihood options. Under this mission, Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) are provided bank loans at 4% on prompt repayment in 150 districts and at 7% in all other districts. The proposed extension of the provision of bank loan for women SHGs is 4% in another 100 districts. India has roughly 650+ districts and this point will ensure that more than one-third of the districts are covered under this mission. This will be a huge jump in terms of outreach.

  • School curriculum will include a chapter on gender mainstreaming in order to sensitize young children and adults. The outcome may not be an immediate drop in rapes and crimes against women, but one hopes  that it will result in a more inclusive mindset and attitude  towards the women of this country.

The government’s main agenda is development of the country, and to provide more jobs to the youth. It is our hope that this development is for all, and that the country progresses faster. It must be ensured that the women of India move ahead at the same pace as men.

 

 

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