The Budget making process this year shows unparalleled girl power as women officers account for 41 per cent of senior level personnel involved in the process this year and are handling 52 per cent of the overall budget-related work of the government.

Showing greater involvement in the Budget making exercise, 14 women officers are in the rank of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary attached with various central ministries and departments.

Also read: UNION BUDGET 2017-18 LIVE UPDATES: WILL ARUN JAITLEY UNVEIL THE BUDGET TODAY?

The women in our country have various expectations when it comes to the budget:

More funds and support for women entrepreneurs.

The budget should include measures for increased investment in women-led start-ups and loans in the SME segment should be made more accessible.

Maternal and medical benefit.

Women spend considerable time on pregnancy and childcare and yet they procure minimal to no support from the government. Resources for child-care centers, support for women looking to rejoin the workforce are mandatory. The government should also ensure that there are maternal benefits.

More funds for women and child development

The allocation of funds to the Ministry of Women and Child Development did not see a significant increase in the 2016. We’re hoping that changes this year.

Workforce participation.

The budget should encourage women to contribute to the economy because currently they contribute only up to 17% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Financial advisors in crucial ministries like finance, health and family welfare, HRD, youth, skill development and sports have contributed heavily to the pre-Budget exercise. Also officers from ministries of aviation, urban development, chemical and fertiliser, coal and mines, Post, DeITY, social justice, Department of Science and Industrial Research have participated in the exercise.
These advisors are tasked with the primary responsibility of pre-budget exercise in various ministries

The Union Budget is set to be presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today, February 1. The pre-budget consultation of finance ministry with various ministries and government departments had begun around mid-November 2016.