Women's share grows in Budget speech, literally

Women's share grows in Budget speech, literally New Delhi: When it comes to usage of words in the budget speech, terms like women, youth and investors grew in count from the last year levels, when Finance Minister P Chidambaram presented the annual accounts of the country's economic health on Thursday.

Words like inflation, deficit, investment, jobs and poor also found larger number of mentions in this year's budget speech, while words like crisis, slowdown, problems, uncertainties, and surprisingly growth, declined in the count.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2013-14, Chidambaram mentioned the word 'women' as many as 24 times -- most of which were during his proposal for setting up a 'Women's Bank'.

The Finance Minister said that many banks had women as their heads, but no bank exclusively served women. He proposed a public sector bank that would lend mostly to women and women-run businesses, employ predominantly women and work for gender-specific empowerment and financial inclusion.

The word 'women' had found a mention eight times in the budget speech of last year.

Chidambaram said that women, youth and poor today represent the vast majority of people in India.
The words 'poor' and 'youth' found five and seven mentions respectively in today's speech -- both marking an increase from last year.

Among economic terms, the word 'investment' was used 36 times, while 'investors' and 'growth' found 18 and 19 mentions respectively.

The count of the word 'deficit' was at 14, while those of crisis and slowdown were two and one respectively. The usage of deficit rose from 13 last year, while that of crisis and slowdown fell from eight and three, respectively. The growth was also mentioned a larger number of 25 times last year.

In last year's budget speech, delivered by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the words like 'crisis', 'slowdown', 'growth' and 'challenges' had grown in count.

In the beginning of his speech, Chidambaram also mentioned that Indian economy was navigating through a crisis that has enveloped the whole world and spared none.

However, he ended his speech in a positive tone, quoting Swami Vivekananda as saying: "All the strength and succour you want is within yourself. Therefore, make your own future."

PTI