Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2023 speech said that for the economic empowerment of women under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission, 81 lakh self-help groups have been created by mobilising rural women.
"We will enable these groups to reach the next stage of economic empowerment through the formation of large producer enterprises or collectives with each having several thousand members and managed professionally," Sitharaman added.
“They will be helped with the supply of raw materials and for better design, quality, branding, and marketing of their products. Through supporting policies, they will be enabled to scale up their operations to serve the large consumer markets, as has been the case with several start-ups growing into unicorns,” she said.
Further, the finance minister mentioned that financial assistance of more than ₹2.25 lakh crore has been provided to small farmers under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi. About 3 crore women farmers have been provided ₹54,000 crore under the scheme.
However, the Ministry of Women and Child Development runs several other welfare programmes for women and girls, which include Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, One Stop Centres, Nari Adalat, Mahila Police Volunteer, Women’s Helpline, etc. In the 2022 Budget, the ministry had received around ₹20,263 crore.
In her budget speech, finance minister also announced a one-time small saving scheme for women. The new savings scheme is called Mahila Samman Saving Certificate.
The scheme will be available for 2 years up till March 2025 and will offer a fixed rate of interest at 7 percent, said the Finance Minister. The scheme will also have a partial withdrawal facility.
In the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate scheme, the maximum deposit amount is kept at ₹2 lakh and the deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child.