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Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman sees entrepreneurship as way for every ‘Nari’ to truly become ‘Narayani’

Financial Express 2019-07-10 14:45:41

Budget 2019 India: Hailing women as goddesses with her remark Nari Tu Narayani (Women, you are a goddess) in her maiden budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman ensured that the upliftment of women in India stretches beyond social wellbeing to empowering them to be independent and self-reliant. And entrepreneurship is central to that theme of empowerment.

The finance minister stressed on the government support for women entrepreneurship through multiple schemes including self-help group (SHG) initiative, Standup India, and Mudra. Nirmala Sitharaman in her speech proposed the expansion of the women SHG interest subvention programme to all districts of the country.

“A great scheme for women entrepreneurs, “Nari Tu Narayani” has been introduced by the government for the socio-economic growth on all levels. I strongly believe that this budget holds a promising future for the women of India,” said Aditi Balbir, Founder and CEO, V Resorts.

Startups found it to be quite encouraging “to see that our first woman finance minister has underscored the importance of women-led movement and the invaluable contribution that women make in every sector,” according to Tanul Mishra, CEO, Afthonia Lab.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced that for every verified woman SHG member with a Jan Dhan Bank Account, the government shall allow an overdraft of 5,000. Also, the minister said that one woman in every SHG will be made eligible for a loan up to Rs 1 lakh under the MUDRA scheme.

“Activating Women Self Help Groups (SHG) across the country is one step that could help here. Giving each verified SHG member access to a Jan Dhan bank account can truly empower women,” said Swati Bhargava, Co-founder, CashKaro.

The sops announced “will certainly help in generating more opportunities for the women entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This will also lead to an increase in participation of women across all sectors, not just tourism and hospitality,” added Balbir.

However, more emphasis on the Start-up India movement launched in 2016 was sought by entrepreneurs to support women entrepreneurs even as according to Bhargava “tangible results from this initiative are yet to be seen.”