The Union Budget 2019 will be presented on 1st February 2019 the last budget of the ruling NDA before the Lok Sabha Elections. Everyone has a lot of expectations from this budget. Taking into view the initiatives taken by the government in favour of women thus far we are hopeful of some more women-friendly measures. We think these are the eight key issues that the Union Budget 2019 should address:
When we asked women, as to what their expectations are from the Union budget 2019, most of them marked safety as the first priority. Even SheThePeople.TV’s poll on Twitter on most important issue budget should address for women clearly indicates that Safety is the most important priority for women today.
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) January 29, 2019
“My view is both – safety and employment encouragement are equally important. At the ground level, if women safety is guaranteed, more women will seek jobs and need skills for the same. Also, economic independence also creates women safety in many ways. So would want to see these two as priorities in this budget and hence will determine my vote too,” says Sarika Bhattacharya CEO and founder of Beyond Diversity Foundation.
Educational Subsidy for Girls
Despite the fact that women are doing good in every field, education is still not a priority for Indian parents, especially when it comes to girls. “The topper of our class dropped out from MBA because she didn’t have enough funds to continue. Since she was sceptic about her job after MBA, She didn’t go for a loan,” shares Akanksha Srivastava, assistant professor, Rama University.
Last year, the National Nutrition Mission received an allocation of Rs 3,000 crores to promote the well-being of women, this year too we expect that a proper fund will be allotted to health and wellness schemes for girls and women.
Like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Scheme for Adolescent Girls implemented last year, this year too we expect that the budget will empower rural women.
Tax-free Maternity Leaves
It is anticipated that this budget may waive off taxes on salaries availed during the period of maternity leaves. This will certainly a big boost for women.
Elimination of Hiring Biases
We expect the budget to create more jobs for women and help eliminate the inherent hiring biases against women and bring about pay parity. We are all aware of the deeply entrenched gender bias in STEM fields.
Pre and Post Delivery benefits for both public and private sector women
Efforts like the extension of maternity leave to six months and 12 weeks leave for commissioning mothers is well appreciated by women. However, women look forward to stringent measures which will eliminate the loopholes and give women an equal chance to continue to be part of the workforce.
Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv