Women and children welfare found ample presence in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today. The central government has increased the budget allocation for women and children welfare under various ministries from Rs 1.56 lakh crore to Rs 1.84 lakh crore.

Jaitley mentioned that Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas begins with girl child and woman and for this, the government has allocated Rs 500 crore to set up Mahila Shakti Kendras at the village level in 14 lakh Anganwadi centres.

Pregnant women and lactating mothers have also got financial assistance in the budget. Under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), the Centre’s maternity benefits program for pregnant and lactating mothers, the allocation has been increased from Rs 400 crore to Rs 21,000 crore in the new budget. In addition to this, the nationwide scheme for pregnant women was announced earlier by PM Narendra Modi on December 31, 2016, under which Rs 6000 will be directly transferred to the bank account of pregnant women.

Priority will be given to Tribals, Dalits, and women to set up greenfield enterprises, for instance, new factories, power plants or any other project that are built from scratch. The participation of women in MNREGA has also gone up from 45 per cent to 55 per cent.

Affordable housing will also be assured for women and children. Jaitley has also announced 90 per cent hike for Nirbhaya fund.