Budget 2022-23: Implications for Women & Women in Business


On an optimistic note, this Budget continues to open up opportunities for growth. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2022 pointed out that – “This Budget (2022-23) will benefit the youth, WOMEN, farmers, and the backward classes. The PM GatiShakti master plan will guide the process”.

FM expressed the fact that a process that began 20 years ago, will be concluded now, with the implementation of the 4 labour codes. For the first time globally, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers. Minimum wages will apply to all categories of workers, and they will all be covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation. Women will be allowed to work in all categories and also in the night shifts (with adequate protection). At the same time, the compliance burden on employers will be reduced with a single registration and licensing, and online returns. She also proposed to provide 1,000 crores for the welfare of tea workers, especially women and their children in Assam and West Bengal; a special scheme will be devised for the same.

Emphasizing the ease of doing business for MSMEs, women entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) or small business segment of the country were hopeful for some sops from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the union budget 2022.

Interestingly, we saw the government’s push for the improvement of women’s lives. The Budget highlighted the strengthening and extension of Mission Shakti, and the main aim of Mission Shakti is – to improve and empower women of the country. In order to make Mission Shakti a success, the central government will tie up with different states.

Schemes for Women Empowerment

The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed the fact that our government has comprehensively revamped schemes like – Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to provide benefits. Saksham Anganwadi is a new generation Anganwadi, in which clean energy provides a better environment for early childhood development with better infrastructure; to give a push, around two lakh Anganwadis will be upgraded. The FM said that the government’s full emphasis is also on the strength of domestic industries; she added that aid of Rs 2 lakh crore will be given to small and small scale industries.

Startups in the spotlight

Startups have taken the limelight in the business scenario. Significantly, incentives for Startups are featured in the Budget. “Start-ups have emerged as drivers of growth for our economy. Over the past few years, the country has seen a manifold increase in successful start-ups. Eligible start-ups established before 31.3.2022 had been provided with a tax incentive for three consecutive years out of ten years from incorporation”. She noted – “In view of the Covid pandemic, I propose to extend the period of incorporation of the eligible start-up by one more year, that is, up to 31.03.2023 for providing such tax incentive”.

Some points for women-centric schemes:

  • The FM announced a number of initiatives for women on Feb 1, 2022.  “Recognising the importance of ‘Nari Shakti’, 3 schemes were launched to provide integrated development for women and children,” the FM said. Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti were launched recently to provide integrated benefits to children. Saksham Anganwadi is a new generation Anganwadi that has better infrastructure – improved environments for early childhood developments.
  • FM Sitharaman elaborated that hospitality services by the small and medium sectors are yet to bounce back. Moreover, Sensex and Nifty were trading over 800 points higher in mid-session deals as the FM began her Budget speech. Sensex was trading 842.07 points or 1.45 per cent higher at 58,856.24, and the broader Nifty rose 165.50 points or 0.95 per cent to 17,505.35. So, the road ahead looks promising!!    

Here are some reactions we got from successful women entrepreneurs about Budget 2022:

Dr Priyanka Goyat, Orthodontist, Cosmetologist & Founder Rejove Clinique “I welcome the FM’s announcement of digital registries of health providers to create an open platform of the national digital health ecosystem. Focus on skilling programs to increase employability and the extension of tax incentives by a year to startups in view of the COVID-19 is also a positive move.”

Ruby Sinha, Founder, sheatwork and Convenor, BRICS CCI Women’s Vertical – “Budget 2022 has a lot of focus on startups, which will encourage women entrepreneurs as well. Specifically for women and child development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 2 lakh Anganwadis will be upgraded with better facilities.

Initiatives to promote the use of digital tech across sectors with an emphasis on digital skilling will also help in creating a level playing field for everyone. It will especially help women take up tech-oriented courses and make them ready for the digital economy even if they are operating from home.”

Shormishtha Ghosh, Director, Business Advisory, BRICS CCI – “Launching a fund with Blended Capital for the agri start ups is a welcome step as the sector needs all the support. Digital university, Digital national health platform and more digital banks are also need of the hour in post pandemic economy. However much is left to desire for common man via Tax relief and economic recovery. No major announcements were also made to balance the demand side recession which is the biggest indicator of increasing unemployment. More focus on tangible Employment generation was desired in this Budget”

Himani Mishra, CEO & Director, Brand Radiator-”

Budget 2022 has been a forward-thinking, aspirational and futuristic budget, the government is focusing on infrastructure, job creation, and future growth. I am encouraged by the overall emphasis on the technology industry. The incentives for improving digital infrastructure, education, and skill development demonstrate the country’s commitment to human capital development.

One Nation, One Registration’ initiative is a revolutionary step in creating a business-friendly environment. Startup Tax indigenisation for 1 more year and encouraging their contribution country’s defence R&D will play a major role. I would say that this budget that faith in taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and investors is restored. we needed trust-based governance to develop an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

Nidhi Goyal, Managing Director, Avinav Consulting Private Limited– “Budget proposals for development in ecological sustainable mobility with the advent of Ropeways will improve connectivity, ease and reduce congestion for Urban population and promote tourism in the Country. Ropeway helps in reaching to difficult terrains and within congested cities which is likely to improve the standard of living in India.”

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