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India can lead by example in establishing a robust training and computing framework in Gender Budget that sets a global standard: Minister Smriti Irani

Feb 29, 2024

Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs, Govt of India yesterday said that it is for the first time in India, in collaboration with industry, academia, the government has given a perspective to gender and gender budgeting. “For too long, any information was given to us by international agencies that could not comprehend the diversity and complexities of India. It always discounted our academicians and as a result of which not much of Indian academia and research was given the respect that it deserved. Today, the rise of our country is not financial alone, but also on intellectual as well,” she added.

Addressing the release of report ‘An Analytical Approach For Assessment of Gender Budgeting in India’, organized by FICCI, jointly with Karmannya Counsel with the support of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, GoI and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms Irani stated that when industry gives space to domestic academicians and research agencies, it will not only support but provide a platform for dialogue, debate and deliberation internationally. “In the age when most of the communication has become digitized, our country is not the only country which will benefit from them,” she highlighted.

Speaking on the challenge of recognizing, computing and compiling data, Ms Irani further stated that we, in the ministry, will support training of officers to understand how to compute and report data in the gender budgeting. “We will begin with our own ministry, and we will take the benefit of it to every other ministry in the government. Gender budgeting, in the past decade, has gone up by 239 per cent and the intent of the government is clear to help us implement it better but why keep the benefit to our country only,” she noted.

The Minister further stated that we recently at the World Economic Forum announced a global alliance for gender equity and equality. Urging FICCI to come forward, she said that we can create partnerships to take these instruments of training, creating computation frameworks of gender budgeting by first applying it domestically and set a global standard, Ms Irani added.

Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI and Chairperson and Managing Director, Bharat Hotels Limited said that we have invested in training and engagement within our organization while creating facilities for the women employees. We are also coaching them on financial awareness, she added.

Ms Asha Kharga, Chair, FICCI Women Empowerment Committee and Member of Group Executive Board & Chief Customer and Brand Officer, Mahindra Group said that that gender budgeting is a tool for gender mainstreaming. A gender responsive budget acknowledges gender patterns in society and allocates funds to ensure that government budget is spent to address the needs of both women and men.

Prof NR Bhanumurthy, Vice-Chancellor, Dr BR Ambedkar School of Economics University, Bengaluru, and Dr Bhabesh Hazarika, Economist, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi shared the insights on the report ‘An Analytical Approach For Assessment of Gender Budgeting in India’.

Ms Jyoti Vij, Additional Director General, FICCI highlighted that the companies are keen to have women at the shopfloors and suggested if the private companies can showcase the positive impact of such practices in increasing productivity. “Every country is talking about the need for care economy, and we need to focus on how to build the care economy,” she added.

Dr Shamika Ravi, Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister & Secretary to the Govt of India; Dr Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation and Mr SK Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI also shared their perspectives on gender budgeting in India.

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