Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept. 10: With gender equa-lity high on UPA-II’s agenda, the government is contemplating setting up special economic zones exclusively for women as part of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women.

Under the programme, the government is working out formation of a National Mission Authority (NMA) headed by the Prime Minister and parallel structures in the states to be headed by the respective chief ministers. However, all schemes under the mission will be implemented by the ministry of women and child development, which will work as the government’s nodal agency. The mission will be functional for the next five years, beginning this fiscal year, with a total outlay of Rs 8,670.49 crores.

It is believed that SEZs exclusively for women would encourage female entrepreneurship to flourish and would help them attain leadership positions in businesses. For this, the government proposes to constitute project approval committees (PACs), comprising non-official expert members of NMA. In the cases of approved proposals, only the minister for women and child development, as NMA executive chairperson, wo-uld have powers to review the decisions of PACs.

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