The Union Budget was tabled in the parliament today. For the first time in the history of India, a female finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented the maiden budget of the Modi government 2.0.

While the Finance Minister proposed some financial benefits for women working at the grass root level, women farmers were not mentioned in the speech. She has also promised electrification to the last mile and LPG gas cylinders to every house by 2022 and housing for all by 2024, proposals that impact women majorly. She has also encouraged corporate women and new-age women entrepreneurs through government schemes like Start-up India and Make In India projects which are already in place.

SheThePeople.TV reached out to women in the corporate and women entrepreneurs to get their reactions on what the Union Budget impacts women.

Financial Aid and inclusion under Jan Dhan account of Women SHG is a major win

“FM Sitharaman made some crucial announcements in budget 2019 which will definitely give women leaders’ wings to fly and nurture more women leaders in the near future. The expansion of the interest subvention programme to all districts for women self-help groups is a crucial move to bring in positivity. Woman SHG member having a verified Jan Dhan account will get an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000 is also a step towards more transparency and empowerment,” said Anita Tejwani, Founder & CEO, Wingstowills

“Under the Mudra Scheme, women will get a loan benefit of Rs 1 lakh for their entrepreneurial aspirations. This is an excellent initiative which will promote leadership among women in the coming future”

“A great scheme for women entrepreneurs, “Naari to Narayani” has been introduced by the government for the socio-economic growth on all levels. I strongly believe that this budget holds a promising future for the women of India. Moreover, under the Mudra Scheme, women will get a loan benefit of Rs 1 lakh for their entrepreneurial aspirations. This is an excellent initiative which will promote leadership among women in the coming future,” said Aditi Balbir, founder and CEO of V Resorts.

Also read: Naari Tu Narayani: The 2019 Budget From FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Housing reforms move “remarkable”

The government through this union budget has allowed an additional tax deduction of Rs 150,000 on interest paid on housing loans borrowed up to 31.3.2020 for self-occupied house owners. That takes the total deduction to upto Rs 3.5 lakhs. Tejwani found it to be a remarkable move for women looking at properties upto Rs 45 lakh.

“Every year, thousands of young women move to bigger cities in pursuit of quality education or better employment opportunities. As a resident of Gurgaon for over two decades, I’ve witnessed women friends struggling with housing issues, and it was high time we replaced our archaic rental laws,” added Nidhi Agarwal, Head – Corporate Strategy for Times Internet & Business – TimesPoints.

“The move to scrap the scrutiny of funds received by start-ups that do file requisite declarations is a step in the positive direction. The omission of enquiry would at least save genuine start-ups from unnecessary hassle”

Hoped for complete removal of Angel Tax

“The hope of start-ups was the complete removal of Angel Tax from the system. Given that it hasn’t happened, the move to scrap the scrutiny of funds received by start-ups that do file requisite declarations is a step in the positive direction. The omission of enquiry would at least save genuine start-ups from unnecessary hassle. Also, the adoption of e-verification for identifying investors and their sources of funds would make the otherwise complex process more seamless. This way, the government will be able to more effectively pinpoint and target money launderers, which the angel tax was introduced to do in the first place.

The confusion continues amongst the start-ups who are currently impacted and the proof of pudding will be if their concerns are indeed resolved rapidly,” says Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR.

Swati Bhargava, Co-founder of CashKaro sheds light on income tax law reforms. She says, “It was good to see that the Union Budget has start-up friendly income tax laws and that government verified start-ups won’t face unwarranted income tax scrutiny. This is definitely a step in the right direction along with increased focus on infrastructure.”

“However, further tax reduction can aid sustainability and profitability of the start-up eco-system. Easing investment rules for e-commerce start-ups and completely digitising payments will help scale faster. We wish for more emphasis on the Start-up India movement launched in 2016 to support women entrepreneurs. Tangible results from this initiative are yet to be seen,” Bhargava added.

Also read: Budget 2019: What Is Cheaper, What Is Costlier

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