A slew of measures was introduced by the Maharashtra government in its annual budget on international women’s day to facilitate the upliftment of women working in various sectors.
The measures for women’s welfare included a host of concessions on stamp duty for property registration, free travel for girls in rural areas, special buses for women in urban pockets, and the establishment of a first women’s battalion of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), etc.
At present, a homebuyer has to pay up to 4% of the agreement value of the property as stamp duty. To do away with this custom, the state finance minister Ajit Pawar unveiled the Rajmata Jijau Griha-Swamini Yojna which ensures a concession of at least 1 percent if the registration of the house is done in the name of a woman.
Lauding this move, Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson, Nahar group said that the move was imperative to empower women and help women be sole owners of the property as it is mostly the women of the household who are well versed with what her family wants, however when it comes to registration, it is often done under the man’s name. He thus said that the concession on stamp duty will help women gain some independence.
Other significant schemes included the Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule scheme which will ensure the safe travel of girls students in rural areas, from their villages to the schools, via Maharashtra State Transport buses. The state is also working towards providing 1,500 environment-friendly CNG and hybrid buses to the State Transport Corporation on a priority basis.
Another important scheme unleashed was additional buses for the ‘Tejasvini Yojna’ scheme for easy and safe travel of women in metro cities. Pawar said that he has proposed to reserve 3% funds from the District Plan for women and children.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr. Nandita Shah leading an NGO welcomed the measures taken for the women. She termed the initiatives as a welcome move and praised the govt for giving significant importance to the safety of women while traveling. However, as opposed to the 3 percent allocated for children and women, she was of the opinion that the figures should to increased to 4.50 percent.