Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget for 2020-2021 listing out the current government's economic achievements. She then went on to emphasize on a 16-point action plan on agriculture and the expansion of existing healthcare schemes. Sitharaman also mentioned the extremely encouraging results of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
Praising 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao', PM Modi's flagship education program, the Finance Minister declared that it has achieved 'tremendous results' which in turn can be established as the ratio of girls enrolling in schools is more than boys. Revealing figures to support her claims, she said that elementary level enrolment of girls was 94.32% as compared to 89.28%.
However, her declaration was protested by the opposition vociferously. To which the Finance Minister asked them to not 'politicise women's issues'.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, launched by the Prime Minister in Haryana five years ago, was meant to address the problem of female foeticide and infanticide and simultaneously encourage the education of girls.
Having said that, the Finance Minister then announced an increase in funds for the education sector, allocating Rs 99,300 crore for 2020/21; the budget had set aside Rs 94,853.64 crore last year, an increase of nearly Rs 10,000 crore from 2018-19 budget estimates had pegged. She also said a new education policy would be revealed soon, adding that the government had received over 2,000 suggestions.
While the key challenge the Finance Minister faces is kickstarting market demand, she also battles India's job crisis, diminishing FDI, and growing inflation. In an attempt at course correction, the Modi government had announced the merger of 9 PSU banks into 4, major corporate tax cuts, policy changes in the automobile sector, reduction in tax regulations to boost foreign income, attract investors and increase the consumer demand during the past year.