ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Caring Society in the Budget


As stated by the finance minister in her budget speech, the Union Budget for 2020–21 is woven around three themes: (i) aspirational India, (ii) economic development, and (iii) a caring society that is both humane and compassionate.

Focusing on the theme of a caring society, which is also “a flower in the bouquet that underlines the concept of Ease of Living” as the finance minister states, one observes that it has three verticals: (i) Women and Child, Social Welfare; (ii) Culture and Tourism; and (iii) Environment and Climate Change. One was very excited to see the mention of a caring society, and while it cannot be denied that there is a need to care for our culture and promote tourism that relates to growth, protects the environment and guards it against climate change, lumping it with women and children and social welfare, distracts one from a very serious gender issue and robs it of its political significance—the management of the care economy so disproportionately shouldered by women. One would have thought that, given the finance minister’s desire to empower women, this would have been an issue for serious discussion and consideration, also owing to the emphasis on gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (target 5.4).

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