New Delhi: ‘Nari tu Narayani,’ said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she spoke on women issues. (Catch LIVE Updates of Finance Minister’s Budget Speech Here)

“This Government believes we can make progress with greater women participation. There are 78 women MPs in the Parliament,” she noted.

The Minister unveiled an Interest subvention program for women. “For every Self Help Group woman member having jan dhan account, a Rs 5,000 overdraft will be allowed,” said the Minister.

Also, one woman in every SHG would be eligible for a loan of Rs 1 lakh under MUDRA scheme, she said.

Interestingly, Sitharaman herself is only the second woman minister of the country to present the Budget. Before her, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the only woman to have presented the Union Budget. In 1970, Indira presented the Union Budget of India for 1970-71, after she took over the finance portfolio following the resignation of Morarji Desai as finance minister.

Earlier, Sitharaman did away with the routine of carrying a bulky briefcase as she arrived with a traditional ‘bahi-khata’ in hand. Her gesture was endorsed by Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian who said it stood for our moving away from slavery in our western thoughts.