(PTI) The budget allocated to the Women and Child Development Ministry, the nodal department of the government for the welfare of women and children, stood at ₹25,448.75 crore in 2023-24, an increase of ₹267 crore from ₹25,172.28 crore allotted in 2022-23.
The most significant announcement for women in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech was the proposal for the 'Mahila Samman Saving Certificate' with a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent for two years.
The deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child. The maximum deposit amount has been kept at ₹2 lakh and the scheme will have a partial withdrawal facility as well.
"One-time new small saving under 'Mahila Samman Saving Patra'. The deposit facility for the women and girls will be for a period of two years with a rate of interest of 7.5 per cent," Sitharaman announced.
She also 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," she said.
Financial assistance of more than ₹2.25 lakh crore has been provided to small farmers under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi. About three crore women farmers have been provided ₹54,000 crore under the scheme, the finance minister said.
For the ministry, the largest allocation has been for the Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 (Umbrella ICDS - Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls) of ₹20,554.31 crore. Mission VATSALYA (Child Protection Services and Child Welfare Services) has been allotted ₹1,472 crore and allocation for Mission Shakti (Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women) is ₹3,143 crore in 2023-24, a dip from ₹3,184 crore in 2022-23.
The budget allocation for autonomous bodies is ₹168 crore, a marginal increase from ₹162 crore in the earlier budget. These autonomous bodies include - Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Commission for Women.