The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed a Post Budget Webinar on the subject of “Economic Empowerment of Women”. It is the 11th of a series of 12 post-budget webinars organized by the government to seek ideas and suggestions for effectively implementing the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.
India's Vision of Women-Led Development
The Prime Minister expressed his delight that India has been moving towards women-led development for the past nine years. He mentioned that India has taken these efforts to the global stage and is actively participating in the G-20 meeting. This year's budget aims to give new momentum to these efforts of women-led development.
Economic Empowerment of Women
The Prime Minister emphasized the strengths of the Nari Shakti's determination, will power, imagination, ability to work for goals, and extreme hard work. He said that these qualities are playing a significant role in increasing the speed and scale of India in this century. The Prime Minister noted that today, the results of efforts for women empowerment are visible, and India is experiencing a revolutionary change in the social life of the country.
Women's Contributions to the Country's Growth
The Prime Minister highlighted that the number of women compared to men is increasing, and the number of girls studying up to high school and beyond has tripled in the last 9-10 years. Girls’ enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is at 43 percent today, more than countries like America, UK, and Germany. Women's participation in fields like medical, sports, business, or politics has grown, and they are leading from the front.
Government's Initiatives for Women Empowerment
The Prime Minister also mentioned the various government schemes that promote women's economic empowerment, such as Mudra loan, promotion of collateral-free loans under SVANidhi and promotion schemes in animal husbandry, fisheries, village industries, FPOs, and sports. He talked about the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate Scheme, where women will get 7.5 percent interest. He also emphasized the empowering aspect of PM Awas Yojna, where most of the 3 crore houses are in the name of women.
Women's Role in Natural Farming
The Prime Minister illustrated the strength of the country’s vision for women empowerment by changing scenarios. Today, one out of five non-farm businesses is run by a woman. More than 7 crore women have joined Self Help Groups in the last 9 years. Their value creation can be understood by their capital requirement as these Self Help Groups have taken loans worth 6.25 lakh crore. He also talked about the role of women self-help groups in promoting Shree Anna.
Need for Skill Development
The Prime Minister stressed the need for skill development and the role of the Vishwakarma Scheme brought in this Budget, which will act as a bridge for skill development. He emphasized the need to prioritize new technologies in the training being given to the self-help groups. The Prime Minister concluded by reiterating that India can move forward only by raising the levels of the respect of women.