Budget 2017: Ladies, here's all that you need to know

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Apart from benefits for working women, Budget 2017 also included maternity benefits for women opting for institutional delivery and vaccination

As finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017 yesterday, one thing became amply clear- his focus was going to be development from the bottom up as well as the welfare of women and children.

Jaitely couldn't have been more emphatic when he announced that a majority of the budget would be allocated for these two purposes. So if you're wondering how this allocation will help you directly, here's a lowdown:

Budget 2017: as proposed by the government

  • Allocation of Rs 1.86 lakh crore has been made to women and child welfare schemes (as compared to Rs 1.56 lakh from last year)
  • Allocation of Rs 500 crores for setting up of more Mahila Shakti Kendras in 14 lakh Anganwadi centres across India
  • Allocation of Rs 21,000 crore for pregnant and lactating women will get financial assistance under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY)
  • Allocation of Rs 15,245 as part of the nutrition programme for children under the age of six
  • Tax slab reduced to 5 percent (from 10 percent) for those with income less than Rs 5 lakh

But all this is technical jargan. How does it really affect our day-to-day lives? Does this new budget bring cheer to working women such as you and I? What about the homemakers?

Well, we spoke to a few experts who shared just exactly how this Budget might help put your money back into your pocket and if you're a woman, how it may benefit you.

What Budget 2017 actually means for us?

We spoke to Anil Rego, CEO and founder of Right Horizons and Sebi registered financial advisor who broke it down for us.

"The impact of the budget 2017 for women, we would say is minimal; yet there are few places where benefits can be seen to some extent," he explains, breaking it further down.

  • From taxation point of view, women can save around Rs 12,500 per annum if the taxable income is above Rs 500,000 and proportionately in between. So, if the taxable income is above Rs 50 lakh, there is a new surcharge of 10 percent on the total income tax calculated. So this can affect the women who have taxable income above Rs 50 lakhs.

budget 2017

  • In terms of women empowerment, women have higher preference to obtain loan for small ventures upto Rs 50,000 at initial stage (called Shishu) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. This loan can help a woman entrepreneur to jumpstart their new ventures obtaining small scale loan like this which can go upto Rs 50 lakh over a period of time and in stages of funding
  • Under maternity benefit scheme, Rs 6,000 will be transferred to a pregnant woman’s account who chose to opt for institutional delivery and vaccination.

More for skilled women who want to rejoin workforce

This Budget has not only made the financial advisors happy, but also female entrepreneurs and women aspiring to rejoin the workforce, since the Budget also looks into prepare a more skilled workforce.

Neha Bagaria, co-founder and CEO, JobsForHer, says, "I’m happy to see the government address the issue of training and skilling women with the introduction of Mahila Shakti Kendras aimed at empowering women. Encouraging more women to join the workforce is critical to India’s ability to benefit from the demographic dividend. We will hopefully see an increase in female participation in the workforce, with the Government increasing allocation for women’s skill development to Rs 1.84 lakh crore for FY’18."

budget 2017

Dinesh Goel, co-founder and CEO, Hunarr.co.in, also feels skill development will witness a major boost, thanks to this budget.

"Budget 2017 seems to be positive for skill development in the country. Setting up of 100 India-International skill centers for advanced training will certainly help more Indians compete in the international market," says Goel.

He adds that programmes like Swayam will make it easier to ensure quality education, from the best faculties in the country, reaches a wider audience.

"Allocation of Rs.1.84 lakh crore in women skill development is also an extremely welcome move. A central national testing agency to conduct all higher education exams will free up a lot of resources for boards like CBSE to put more focus on the curriculum and preparing students for college and ultimately their professional life," says Goel.

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[All images courtesy: Pixabay]

Written by

Deepshikha Punj