Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced a one-time small savings scheme for women to commemorate celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence.
“Commemorating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a one-time new small savings scheme, Mahila Samman Savings Certificate, will be made available for a two-year period up to March 2025,” Ms. Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget.
The small saving certificate will have a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent for two years. The deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child. The maximum deposit amount has been kept at ₹2 lakh and the scheme will have a partial withdrawal facility as well.
The Union Minister said that women’s self-help groups (SHGs)have achieved remarkable success under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission by mobilizing rural women into 81 lakh SHGs.
“We will enable these groups to reach the next stage of economic empowerment through formation of large producer enterprises or collectives with each having several thousand members and managed professionally,” she said.
The Budget envisages that through supporting policies, the SHGs will be enabled to scale up their operations to serve the large consumer markets, as has been the case with several start-ups growing into ‘Unicorns’.
The amount allocated to the Women and Child Development Ministry in the Union Budget 2023 saw an increase of ₹267 crore from ₹25,172.28 crore allotted in 2022-23.
The largest allocation of ₹20,554.31 crore has been for the Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 schemes, ₹1,472 crore has been allotted to Mission VATSALYA (Child Protection Services and Child Welfare Services), ₹3,143 crore to Mission Shakti (Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women).
Autonomous bodies, including Central Adoption Resource Agency, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and National Commission for Women have been given ₹168 crore, a marginal increase from ₹162 crore last year.