The 2024–25 Interim Budget, presented on February 1, 2024, by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is the last interim budget before the country’s April–May 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana in her interim budget, emphasizing the momentum for “Nari Shakti” during the financial year. 

MUDRA Loans For Women Entrepreneurs

Sitharaman said that 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women entrepreneurs to boost women entrepreneurship in the country. These MUDRA loans may be disbursed by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs, and NBFCs. There are more schemes given by government to women entrepreneurs checkout 9 Government schemes for women.

Three products—”Shishu,” “Kishore,” and “Tarun”—were developed to represent the beneficiary’s financial needs and stage of development and to serve as a benchmark for future expansion. “Shishu” refers to loans up to Rs 50,000, “Kishore” to loans between Rs 50,001 and Rs 5 lakh, and “Tarun” to loans between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. 

Data from the MUDRA official website indicates that when the initiative was first implemented in 2015–2016, the government disbursed about 13 lakh crore rupees; by 2022–2023, that sum had increased to 45 lakh billion rupees. MUDRA loans do not require any collateral or security, so they were perceived to be extremely risky when they were first launched. 

Sitharaman revealed at the presentation of the interim budget for 2024-25 that up to February 1st, the government had extended 43 crore loans totaling INR 22.5 lakh crore under PMMY. About 70% of these loans have gone to female business owners.

Over the last few years, the government has launched a number of initiatives to promote the country’s startup ecosystem. This initiative prioritizes encouraging female entrepreneurs and increasing women’s participation in the workforce. 

In keeping with this, in October 2022, President Droupadi Murmu launched ‘Her Start,’ a startup platform tailored specifically to female entrepreneurs. As a result, there are more female founders in India’s startup scene. Female investors make up a sizable portion of the homegrown startup ecosystem.

Female CEOs’ Take on Interim Budget 2024

The announcement of the Interim budget 2024 highlights female CEOs and entrepreneurs, who are becoming common in a variety of industries within India’s vibrant economic environment.

  • Richa Singh, CEO and co-founder of Happinetz, a parental control filter application, and Sudha Srinivasan, CEO of NGO The/Nudge Institute, discuss the importance of strengthening the ‘Make in India’ initiative and encouraging women to enter the workforce. 
  • Jyoti Bhandari, founder and CEO of wealth management firm Lovak Capital, emphasizes the importance of empowering young women, while Shreya Sabharwal, founder and CEO of brand communication firm Squarefork, talks about the expectations of digital marketing firms.
  • Upasna Dash, founder and CEO of Jajabor Brand Consultancy, believes that specific infrastructure should be established to support skill development, while Kavitha Rao, co-founder of 10club houses, advocates for regulatory measures in the consumer retail sector. Co-founder and chair of Sunshine Corporate Creches Saloni Verma looks for financial incentives for businesses that provide childcare services to the corporate market.
  • The head of the FICCI Ladies Organization (Kolkata chapter), Radhika Dalmia, stressed the significance of raising the education benefits for women and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana allowance, labeling these actions as crucial. In order to build a more inclusive India, she underlined the significance of enhancing financial inclusion, healthcare access, and education, particularly for women.

Agri-innovation & Women Empowerment

Sudha Srinivasan of the Nudge Institute wishes to see a greater emphasis on women’s empowerment and agricultural technology. She advocates for the continuation of the farmer-first strategy and anticipates the establishment of the agri-tech accelerator fund, as mentioned in the previous budget.

Developing Young Women’s Skills

According to Jyoti Bhandari of Lovak Capital, the previous year’s budget highlighted the significance of women’s economic empowerment. This time, she suggests that the Interim Budget 2024 focus on skill development by offering vocational programs after Class 12 graduation, particularly for young women in India.

Focus on Skill Development

The CEO of Jajabor, Upasna Dash, is looking for more money to help the startup industry expand. She thinks that promoting Bharat entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, and innovative sectors is essential to turning India into an inclusive, self-sufficient, and technologically empowered economy. 

Takeaway

In conclusion, the 2024-25 Interim Budget in India demonstrates a dedicated effort towards promoting women entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. With a substantial focus on MUDRA loans for women entrepreneurs, initiatives like ‘Her Start’ for female founders, and insights from prominent female CEOs, the budget aims to address diverse needs, ranging from skill development and financial incentives to agricultural technology and childcare services. 

By indifi

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