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Women, child programmes enhanced, disabled get tax relief

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) India will allocate 50 percent more funds for women and child development and provide tax relief for the disabled, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced Friday while presenting the union budget 2010-11.

Several new initiatives will also be implemented to benefit women farmers and people suffering from disabilities especially hearing impairments, Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha.

‘I propose to step up the plan outlay for women and child development by almost 50 percent. Several new initiatives that were launched in 2009-10 are now ready for implementation,’ said Mukherjee.

Among them is a mission for empowerment of women, expansion of the Integrated Child Development Scheme platform for effective implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for adolescent girls, as well as a Rs.100-crore (Rs.1 billion/nearly $21 million) initiative to cater to the needs of women farmers.

‘A Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana to meet the specific needs of women farmers is being launched. I have provided Rs.100 crore for this initiative as a sub-component of the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

‘The allocation will also assist in establishing an Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre for the benefit of the hearing impaired. District Disability Rehabilitation Centres are being set up in 50 additional districts along with two composite regional centres for persons with disabilities,’ Mukherjee said.

The budget indicated that the corpus of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (National Women’s Fund) will be increased from Rs.100 crore to Rs.500 crore (Rs.1 billion -5 billion/nearly $ 21 million-108 million) over the next few years.

Taxes imposed on those caring for disabled dependents has also been relaxed.

‘Direct tax deduction in respect of maintenance, including medical treatment, of a dependent who is a person with severe disability is being raised from the present limit of Rs.75,000 to Rs.100,000,’ Mukherjee said.

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