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Budget 2018
Feb 01, 2018 05:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2018: Aims at harnessing the women power in India

Homemakers were looking for enhanced tax benefits for the expenses incurred on education of their children.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley decided to focus on the betterment of the women from the lowest economic strata of the society in his Budget 2018. Additional LPG connections under Ujjwala Scheme and electricity connections under Prime Minister Saubhagya Yojana have been extended in FY2018-2019.

Initially the target under Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Scheme was set up at 5 crore LPG connections to poor women. However it has been enhanced now to 8 crore LPG connections to poor women.

The homemakers were looking for stability of prices of necessities. Barring the increased customs duty on some goods the Finance Minister did not tinker with indirect taxes. If there is no inflation, the homemaker will find it a good budget.

Homemakers were looking for enhanced tax benefits for the expenses incurred on education of their children. There was an expectation that the investment limit under section 80C where tuition fees are allowed expense, will be enhanced by at least Rs 50000. However, this expectation did not materialise.

Homemakers looking for a job may get increased employment opportunities going forward. To incentivize employment of more women in the formal sector and to enable higher take-home wages, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to reduce women employees' contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment against existing rate of 12% or 10% with no change in employers' contribution.

The MUDRA loans have been a game changer for the women in India. The finance minister Arun Jaitley said, “MUDRA Yojana launched in April, 2015 has led to sanction of Rs 4.6 lakh crore in credit from 10.38 crore MUDRA loans. 76% of loan accounts are of women.” Taking cues from this the budget also proposed to encourage Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to take up organic agriculture in clusters under National Rural Livelihood Programme.

India Union Budget 2018: What does Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have up his sleeve? Click here for live Budget 2018 news, views and analyses.
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