Many people are saying that this budget is working women-friendly budget. Although I am not very sure about that still now, some of the benefits for the women proposed in the current budget are as under:-
1. The Government has substantially increased the allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs. 5750 crore in 2018-19. Jaitley said that loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women increased to about Rs 42500 crores in 2016-17, growing 37% over the previous year. This will further increase to Rs. 75000 crores during the next financial year (for which the Budget has been tabled).
2. To boost women's participation in formal sector jobs, the Finance Minister has announced that only 8% EPF will be charged from women. (Although many women are hailing this announcement, I think this will hamper the savings of working women.)
3. The Finance Minister has stressed the need to reach out to every household of old, widows, orphaned children, divyaang and deprived. He has proposed the implementation of a comprehensive social security and protection programme. He announced a sum of Rs. 9975 crores to be allocated for the National Social Assistance Programme for the aforestated marginalized group.
4. The Finance Minister has proposed to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crores women living below the poverty line.
5. Pregnant women and lactating mothers got a substantial financial assistance in the budget. The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), the Centre's key maternity benefits programme targeted at pregnant and lactating mothers, the allocation has gone up from Rs 400 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 21000 crore in the new fiscal year.
6. Affordable housing will also be assured for women and children. The Finance Minister has also announced 90% hike for Nirbhaya fund.
There are some more benefits especially for women, in the current budget, about which I am not fully clear till now.
Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.