Financial literacy is important for everyone, especially women, to be able to assert their independence and empower themselves. Keeping that in mind, there are some Budget 2023 highlights all Indian women need to know.
Keeping 'Nari Shakti' (women empowerment) in mind, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on 1st February:
- 'Mahila Samman Saving Certificate'
According to this new savings scheme for women, a deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child for a period of 2 years with a provision of fixed rate of interest at 7.5 percent. The maximum deposit limit is Rs. 2 lakhs and the scheme will be available till March 2025. This scheme also allows for an option of partial withdrawal to help women in emergency situations.
- A new tax slab in 2023
Salaried women and those involved in the formal sector can derive benefit under the new tax slab. As per the new tax regime, women earning up to Rs. 7 lakhs per annum will not be required to pay tax as against the old tax regime under which those earning up to Rs. 5 lakhs per annum were exempted from paying taxes. This makes allowance for women to make better investment decisions and save more.
- Another step towards the economic empowerment of women
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We will enable [women self-help groups in the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission] to reach the next stage of economic empowerment through formation of large producer enterprises or collectives with each having several thousand members and managed professionally. They will be helped with 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'."
- If you’re a founder of a start-up or a small business entrepreneur
India has the third largest ecosystem in the world for start-ups, and “ranks second in innovation quality among middle-income countries”. To support entrepreneurship, the budget has proposed to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from March 31, 2023 to March 31, 2024. Moreover, it is proposed to provide the benefit of carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to 10 years.
Some of the highlights of Budget 2023-24 are going to help women become more financially independent and also allow them to flourish as entrepreneurs. It’s important to remember that women’s labour plays an important role in the economy; acknowledging it is the first step in making women equal in all aspects of life.