Updated January 30th, 2024 at 21:16 IST

‘Budget 2024 is a good time to review existing policies regarding women’: CII

The Interim Budget 2024 may not be about any major change, but it could be the right time to take stock of some policies, already in place.

Sharmila Bhowmick
Rumjhum Chatterjee
Rumjhum Chatterjee, Chairperson - CII’s National Council on Women’s Empowerment and Inclusion | Image:Republic

What women want: Are all existing policies impactful on ground? Or is it time, to take a raincheck on a few, recalibrate and introduce new or different policies for the development of women. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stressed on the Government’s commitment towards the ‘youth, poor, farmers and women’. The Indian government too highlighted its intent towards progress and empowerment of women. But it is time for a review, feels Rumjhum Chatterjee, Chairperson - CII’s National Council on Women’s Empowerment and Inclusion; Co-Founder - The Infravision Foundation. In an exclusive interview with Republic Business, Chatterjee puts forward her pre-budget thoughts. Edited Excerpts:

Different thrusts for urban and rural women

The issues of urban women and significantly different from those of the rural women. Also, working, and non-working women have different requirements of support. Women’s contribution to household and elsewhere is also a matter that needs adequate calibration.  Usually, women take it as a matter of responsibility, but we must find a way to attach a value to this contribution.

Pay Parity

Both in industrial set up and in rural economy, there exists a significant pay gap between the genders. There’s a crucial need to shift the mindset as a society. We can’t wait for 15 years for mindsets to shift and enable equal pay. CII is working with the ministry in taking a massive pledge towards sensitising the government to bridge the gender gap and create equal opportunity.

Time for a hard review

The Interim budget is also a good time to review existing schemes in place. Multiple policies have been put in motion – Ujwala, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao which have been identified for allocations, but now is also a time to review statistics to see how they have served us and whether some existing schemes need to be reviewed for change. A granular impact assessment of policies should be done. It is time for review.

Rural employment

Rural women in India are overall doing well. There’s a wave of entrepreneurship in rural India as well as in Tier II and Tier III cities. Now we must see that these entrepreneurs turn employers for other women. They should be given support to grow and become role models to create a demonstration effect for other women. They also need to be tech-enabled for pushing forward the Indian growth story.


Published January 30th, 2024 at 19:08 IST

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