Karnataka budget prioritises women's issues with emphasis on education and healthcare

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who also holds the Finance portfolio presented the state budget on February 16.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday, February 16 announced a series of initiatives aimed at empowering women across the state. Here are the key highlights:

Cafe Sanjeevini: 50 women-run cafes under the name "Cafe Sanjeevini" will be launched, providing affordable and hygienic cooked food in rural areas, bridging the demand-supply gap.

Coffee entrepreneurship: In collaboration with the Coffee Board, 1 lakh women from Self-Help Groups (SHGs) will be trained as coffee entrepreneurs. Additionally, 2,500 Coffee Kiosks managed exclusively by SHG women will be set up.

Transit hostels: Affordable and secure transit hostels will be established for students and working women in urban areas, promoting safe accommodation through partnerships with women's SHGs and urban local bodies.

Women's safety: A vehicle tracking mobile app with women's safety features is under development by BMTC, ensuring safer commutes for women.

Property tax collection: Local women's self-help groups will assist in the recovery of property tax and water charges in urban areas.

Interest subsidy for dairy farming: Women engaged in dairy farming will receive a 6% interest subsidy on loans for purchasing cows/buffaloes, encouraging entrepreneurship in the sector.

Education initiatives: Government colleges and polytechnics will be upgraded, and new institutions like the Mysuru Maharani Women’s Science College will be established at the cost of Rs.54 crore and and the Maharani Arts And Commerce College and hostel will be constructed at a cost of Rs.116 crore, promoting higher education among women.

Healthcare: To combat breast and cervical cancer, Digital Mammography and Colposcopy machines will be provided to district hospitals, ensuring early diagnosis and treatment. Under the Prerana scheme, usage of Menstrual cups will be promoted among women from self-help groups, women members of Gram Panchayats and frontline workers of rural areas, which in turn will inspire other women in the villages.

Gruha Lakshmi Scheme: Financial empowerment of women through direct transfers to woman heads of households, supporting various income-generating activities and household expenses.

Anganwadi enhancements: Smartphones will be provided to anganwadi workers, new anganwadis will be constructed, and gratuity facilities will be introduced for workers and helpers.

Welfare measures: Monthly allowances for former devadasis will be increased, and comprehensive welfare interventions will be designed based on a socio-economic survey.

Funding: A substantial budget of Rs. 86,423 crore is allocated for women-oriented schemes and Rs. 54,617 crore for children-oriented schemes.

Shakti Scheme: The Shakti scheme, offering free bus travel to women, girl students, and gender minorities, receives overwhelming public response with over 155 crore beneficiaries availing the benefit. “Shakti scheme is the first guarantee scheme implemented within a month of assuming power by our Government and Rs.3,000 crore has been provided for this,” said Siddaramaiah.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented his 15th budget on Friday, February 16 and his second one as the Chief Minister in his second term. The Rs 3.71 lakh crore budget saw many allocations, with Rs 52,000 crore allocated for the five guarantees. Presenting the budget, Siddaramaiah said, “I have presented a growth-inducing welfare-oriented budget which envisions inclusive and prosperous Karnataka with a priority to provide much needed support to farmers, women, youth and marginalised sections of the society who are battered by high inflation, increasing inequality and jobless growth in the country.”

“The state economy is estimated to grow at 6.6% in 2024-25. While services sector has registered a growth of 8.7% and industrial sector has shown a growth of 7.5% in 2023-24, the agriculture sector has shown a negative growth of 1.8% due to severe drought in the current year,” Siddaramaiah said

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