Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2019-20 on July 5th 2019. She is the first full-time Finance Minister and has also been a Defence Minister. Being a Woman Finance Minister, women have lots of expectations from this Finance Minister.
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Studies by a reputed agency show around 48% of non-working housewives in India, wish to start a business and be financially independent. Sadly, lack of skill due to a dearth in skill refinement centers and social taboo hampers female entrepreneurial goals.
To be fair, the Government does support female entrepreneurs through STEP (Support to Training and Employment Program). However, the budgetary allocation has been reduced from Rs 40 Crores to Rs 5 Crores. Nirmala Sitharaman would have to raise the budgetary allocation to help female entrepreneurs.
Take a look at this shocking fact. Between 2005-2012 more than 2 crore women quit the workforce. This is the entire population of Sri Lanka. The main reasons are lack of good public transport, women safety and poor living opportunities in urban areas.
Many of our top cities have a poor safety record for women. Systems and technologies like mobile SOS, public transport camera surveillance and women patrols need to be mobilized and widely used to improve women safety on the streets of our metro cities.
How to bring more women to the workforce? Promote tax incentives to corporates who impart leadership training for women to take up, top roles in the Organization. The Finance Minister must allocate a huge amount towards women safety and skill development. This will bring more women into the workforce.
The Finance Minister can increase the Section 80C limit from Rs 1.5 Lakhs to Rs 2 Lakhs a year for women. This will help women save and invest for their families. Women make the household budget and invest for their families. Working women also earn lesser than male counterparts. The increase in the tax exemption limit would help women save for their families.
See Also: Union Budget 2019-2020: Major Takeaways
Today, many working couples put their kids in daycare and creche facilities, as they go about their jobs. Salaried couples seek tax deductions on daycare/crèche expenses, which currently are not in place.
This is a must as more and more Indian Families adopt the nuclear structure. Women are eagerly awaiting a tax deduction for daycare/ creche facilities in Union Budget 2019 under Modi 2.0.
Daycare facilities are expensive and working couples spend a lot on them. This tax deduction would go a long way in removing the burden from the shoulders of working couples. There is also a suggestion where if the employer bears the crèche/daycare expenses fully or in part, this should not be treated as a perquisite in the hands of the employees.
See Also: Budget 2019 India Expectations
Good clean fuel is a given for urban women. Sadly, many of their rural counterparts; don’t enjoy clean fuel. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana did provide 6 Crore connections against the targeted 8 Crore connections. This is a commendable achievement and Nirmala Sithraman would take this as a priority in the upcoming Union Budget 2019-20.
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