Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget 2018 speech on Thursday announced a number of schemes and measures that are expected to benefit women in the country.
Free LPG connections to 8 crore women living below the poverty line.
Take-home salary of new women employees to go up in the formal sector
There will be no changes in the employer’s EPF contribution
The government increased the allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs. 5750 crore in 2018-19.
Loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women increased to about Rs. 42,500 crore in 2016-17, growing 37 percent over previous year. The government is confident that loans to SHGs will increase to Rs.75,000 crore by March, 2019, Jaitley said in his speech.
In order to boost women’s participation in formal sector jobs, Jaitley announced that only eight percent EPF will be charged from women. “Facility of fixed term employment to be extended. 12 percent government contribution to EPF for new employees. Women’s contribution to EPF to be reduced to eight percent for first three years,” Jaitley said.
The Finance Minister stressed over the need to reach out to every household of old, widows, orphaned children, divyaang and deprived as defined by the Socio-Economic Caste Census.
Finance Minister enumerated the implementation of a comprehensive social security and protection programme by announcing a sum of Rs. 9, 975 crore to be allocated for the National Social Assistance Programme this year.