Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman started her Budget 2023-24 speech by stressing on inclusive development as a top priority for the Bharatiya Janata party. The government recognized the importance of ‘Nari Shakti’ as the “harbinger of our bright future” for India during this Amrit Kaal.
Here are the most important highlights that women in business should take note of.
Smt. Sitharaman highlighted the immense success of the Government scheme – Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood mission. This has mobilised and enabled rural women into 81 lakh self-help groups.
In this budget, the government is looking at formations of larger producer enterprises and then helping them with the supply of raw materials, better design, quality, branding opportunities and marketing of products.
These women have an incredible opportunity to ride on the coattails of government support and form a business that can sustain their livelihoods. We already know the excellent benefits of shifting your business online. The government’s further push towards digitization, branding and marketing will help these omnichannel businesses flourish.
Growth schemes in agriculture
The budget will provide financial assistance of more than 2.25 lakh crore to small farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisam Samman Nidhi. This will also benefit about 3 crore women farmers, by giving them access to 54,000 crores as a part of the scheme.
Financial assistance like this coupled with other schemes like the agriculture credit boost, accelerator funds for agritech startups, investments for fisheries and high-value horticulture crops – is going to be promising for women in agriculture.
Mahila Samman Saving Certificate
The government has launched a one-time brand-new small-savings program for women – The Mahila Samman Saving Certificate. This program will have a fixed interest rate of 7.5% and will be available till March 2025.
This financial assistance can prove to be significant for Indian women. It allows a deposit of up to 2 lakh rupees with partial withdrawal options for emergencies or dire circumstances.
Income tax slabs for salaried women
In a well-welcomed move, the government has made an effort to improve the financial independence of women by giving them access to more disposable income. Under the tax slabs established under the new tax regime, anyone earning up to 7 Lakhs (previously 5 lakhs) will not have to pay tax.
By saving more, women will be encouraged to put aside more funds for setting up their own businesses. Since online businesses require minimal investment, this is a great time for women to start taking their first steps to be their own bosses.
Women in India need specialised resources to help upskill them. The budget did make some strides in this area, however much remains to be done.
More than half of our D2C entrepreneurs at Instamojo are women. They get the highest quality of support, resources that guide them at every level of their business and 360-degree access to marketing tools that can help them start, build and grow their online business.
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