Budget 2020: While all eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present the Union Budget today, there is a particular section of the society that will pay close attention to what the minister announces. Nirmala Sitharaman made history last year by becoming India's first full-time woman finance minister. Women from various walks of life would hope for certain measures including women employment and ways to boost women entrepreneurship.
While the previous Budget did not have much in store for women, increasing female labour participation and creating avenues for women employment would be the frontrunners. According to a World Bank report released in September 2019, India has a dismal female labour force participation rate of 23 per cent while it is 48 per cent for the world. As such, Nirmala Sitharaman might look into ways to create avenues for women employment.
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Policies to boost women entrepreneurship would go a long way in boosting women participation. To this end, the FM might earmark funds for training and awareness schemes that will bring out women to join the workforce. Moreover, the path to a $5 trillion economy can be paved only with increasing women employment.
The Finance Minister might also focus on education and skill training of rural women. Better infrastructure to ensure safety of women could also be one of the measures announced by Sitharaman. Additionally, measures to bridge the wage gap between men and women with same qualification would also boost women employment.
Not only women employment, employment in general is the biggest concern for Indians, as per the Mood of the Nation survey conducted by India Today and Karvy Insights. Out of the 12,141 respondents, 32 per cent said that unemployment remains their biggest concern. However, 47 per cent of the respondents also believe that the Modi government would create more jobs in the second term. Around 30 per cent believed that the employment scenario is not likely to get better any time soon.
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