Against the backdrop of increase in crime against women, the Finance Ministry is considering a Home Ministry proposal to recruit more women personnel for Delhi Police.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said it was part of efforts to do more for women as he rejected suggestions that the government's initiatives to ensure empowerment of the fair sex was merely "tokenism".
His comments came on a day when sevaral MPs voiced concern over the safety of women in the national capital.
"We are of course directly responsible for Delhi.... Only yesterday, I got the proposal from the Ministry of Home Affairs that we should recruit more women constables. And we are looking at it," Chidambaram told reporters here.
Law and order in Delhi is the direct responsibility of the Union Home Ministry, unlike other states where it is in the domain of state governments.
At the same time, Chidambaram said state governments have to do more for women's safety.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had recently said the Delhi Police would soon launch a special drive for recruiting women constables and officers and appoint more women personnel in police stations.
The Home Minister issued the order in the backdrop of the public outrage over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital on December 16. The girl died in a hospital in Singapore on December 29. Delhi has around 166 police stations and a police strength of nearly one lakh personnel. (MORE) PTI TGB AKK PAL 03082012 NNNN
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Listing the measures taken by the government to instill confidence among women in the country, Chidambaram said his Ministry will hold a meeting "shortly" to work out the scope and application of Rs 1000 crore Nirbhaya fund announced in the budget for safety and empowerment of women.
The fund was announced as a tribute to the Delhi gang-rape victim.
"We have announced the national women's bank. The blueprint should be ready in a month or so and then we will try to get a license as early as possible," he told reporters outside Parliament House.
"...it is not correct to say that we have reduced to tokenism. We are very serious. The government is very serious. I am very serious," the Finance Minister said.
Meanwhile, Congress and Trinamool Congress MPs raised the issue of women's safety in Delhi during zero hour in Lok Sabha today.
Expressing concern over incidents of rape in Delhi, Congress member Jagadambika Pal said police should be held accountable if such incidents recur.
Referring to reports that 96 per cent of women feel unsafe after sunset in Delhi, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said the situation has not improved even after the people's protest following the gang-rape of the para-medical student.
"We all hang our heads in shame even outside the country," Roy said and demanded strong action to end sexual assault on women.