Women will have a leading role in post COVID-19 economy: Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi: Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, today said that Indian economy is on the path of revival and women will play a leading role in the post COVID-19 economy. “Women’s economic contribution will be included going forward, which has been close to negligible till now,” he said adding that women entrepreneurs can become business aggregators in the country.

Addressing a webinar on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Inclusive Growth for Transforming India’, Mr Pradhan said, “With COVID-19, technology has brought equalization in the society. There will be an exponential growth in the use of technology for conducting business. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with the stimulus packages being announced, the Central and State governments are working towards securing both lives and livelihoods of people. He also spoke about the city gas distribution network in the country.”

Speaking about the impact of COVID-19, Mr Pradhan said that the world has changed and India has been able to set a benchmark in such a difficult situation. “India has maintained its supply chain without any disruption and provided medicines and other essential commodities to about 120 countries,” said Mr Pradhan.

Alluding to the issue of mental health, Mr Pradhan said that earlier it was an ailment associated with few people. But in today’s context, mental health has assumed greater importance as we have never experienced a situation like COVID-19.

Ms Jahnabi Phookan, President, FLO said that FLO seeks partnership opportunity with the Ministry in skilling and upskilling of women migrant workers who have been returning to their home states. She informed that FLO is commissioning a multi-state field study on COVID-19 impact on women’s livelihood in key sectors.

Ms Phookan said that for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bhara’, it is important to take the women along. Women entrepreneurs can play a critical role, if government links various schemes to promote women entrepreneurs by ensuring that they are provided adequate financial support, market access, entrepreneurship development, exports and international cooperation, training and skill development.

She said that as a business chamber working towards the goal of inclusive growth, FLO’s focus is on the role of women in reviving the economy and making India self-reliant. “I firmly believe that economic empowerment of women is the most viable solution to integrate women to the developmental goals of the nation,” Ms Phookan added.