Mukhya Mantri Ladli Behna Yojna is an upcoming scheme in Madhya Pradesh for women between 23 to 60 years of age. From June 2023 onwards actual Direct Beneficiary Transfer of Rupees 1000/will be done into the account of finally selected beneficiary women.
Statistical evidence as per the women and child development department of Madhya Pradesh website, suggests that the female to male labour force participation ratio is skewed 23.3: 57.7% and 13.6:59.6% respectively in urban areas.
This implies that the participation of women who have their own source of expendable income is far less than her male counterpart which affects their economic independence. This issue has direct bearing on their health and nutrition as well as on the dependent children. For poor and lower income families, the money being given under MMLBY is extremely handy to buy necessary household goods, vegetables, fruits, milk and groceries.
Mukhya Mantri Ladli Behna Yojna
After the launch on March 5, 2023, a debate began whether to dole out Rs 12,000/per year to women from the State exchequer. Expenditure refers to the act of paying for essentials. It is usually planned and budgeted for, in advance.
Spending is the act of paying for the desired but not necessarily essential. Being the primary budget keepers of the house hold, women are deliberate by nature while it comes to spending. Managing the day-to-day expenses and ensuring that the family’s financial goals are met is a priority.
Behavioral studies imply that women are more likely to save money and invest wisely. Also being family-oriented are better balancing priorities. More inclined to look for deals, discounts, and schemes before making a purchase.
Women are enterprising
Starting their own Nano enterprises at doorsteps is a common place success story of many households. Scale or magnitude hardly matter in operations for them. Margin matters for them. Women Self Help Groups are a major success in India. The skills to make regular financial decisions, makes them better spenders.
Good spending may be considered as a skill, as it involves the ability to make wise and informed decisions including one’s finances. Budgeting is a know-how to allocate money for discretionary spending.
Women may priorities expenditure amongst rent, utilities, essential items and eating out at a restaurant well. Being tremendously good at negotiations, makes them take appropriate decisions. Research requiring comparison of shopping involves informed decision making while economizing scales, which is even true for nations considering to buy aero planes.
Cultural expectations play a significant role in determining the spending and saving habits of women in India. They are often expected to be more frugal and responsible with their money. Additionally, women in rural areas are more likely to save due to limited income-generating opportunities and the need to rely on their savings to meet unexpected expenses. Women in India have differential access to financial resources depending upon the cultural and societal norms.
From this sociological perspective, even a nominal amount of money under MMLBY will pave for financial empowerment of women.
Such policies give nominal opportunity to women to decide the budget of their family. In the long run this may enhance the self-esteem of the women in the lower income group to assert themselves in a humble way.
(The writer Narahari IAS is an IAS officer and is presently posted as Secretary, MSME Industries Department, Govt of Madhya Pradesh. Views expressed are his personal)