Women’s Welfare is a Priority in the 2024-25 Budget


The Indian government, as part of the budget-making process for 2024-25, is expected to focus on women’s welfare with a potential 30% year-on-year increase in gender budgeting. The move aligns with the September 2023 Delhi Declaration under the G20 India presidency. Over the years, the government has gradually increased the total gender budgeting amount, reaching ₹2.23 lakh crore in the 2023-24 budget estimates, up from less than ₹1 lakh crore in the 2013-14 budget estimates. The renewed focus on gender budgeting is influenced by several factors, including the inclusion of gender issues in the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, the enactment of the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ (women’s reservation in Parliament and state assemblies), and the finance minister’s mention of the issue in her maiden budget speech in July 2019. The government has been working toward greater allocations to address gender-specific needs and empower a significant section of the population.

The increased emphasis on gender budgeting is expected to be reflected in five key areas: financing, the health and care workforce, partnerships and accountability, improving quality regulation, and research. The move comes as a response to the need for a more active approach to gender budgeting, shifting from a passive exercise to mapping expenditures and public service deliveries from a gender perspective. The budget for women-specific programs in the current financial year (2023-24) stands at ₹2,23,219.75 crore, with Part A (100% women-specific programs) at ₹88,044.21 crore and Part B (30% women-specific programs) at ₹1,35,175.54 crore.

The government is likely to revise the budget estimates upward in the revised estimates for 2023-24. The major expenditure heads include schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, DISHA Programme for women in science, and allocations for the Ministry of Women and Child Development for schemes such as Nirbhaya fund, Saksham Anganwadi, and Poshan. The government’s efforts also extend to encouraging women entrepreneurs through self-help groups and fostering women’s participation in various sectors.

Read more: https://womenworldindia.com/