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This scheme was announced in the 2023-24 Budget by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, with an aim towards financial inclusion and empowerment of women, including girls.
The two-year tenure scheme offers an attractive and fixed interest rate of 7.5% compounded quarterly with flexible investment and partial withdrawal options, with a maximum ceiling of Rs 2 lakh.
The scheme’s primary goal is to encourage women, including girls, to invest in it to help them become financially self-reliant.
The government has also raised the interest rates on various small savings schemes for the first quarter of the financial year 2023-24, starting from April 1, by up to 70 basis points. Typically, the government reviews the interest rates on small savings schemes every quarter.
The formula to arrive at the interest rates for a small savings scheme was given by the Shyamala Gopinath Committee. The committee suggested that yields on government bonds should be the benchmarks for the interest on various small savings instruments and should be reset every first of April.
The interest rate on the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme has been hiked by 20 basis points, National Savings Certificate by 70 basis points, Kisan Vikas Patra by 30 basis points, and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana by 40 basis points.
These measures are expected to immensely benefit post office small savings customers and attract more investment in these schemes through post offices, especially in rural areas, amongst girls, women, farmers, artisans, senior citizens, factory workers, government employees, small traders, and other sections of society. They will get a better return on their investment in small savings schemes.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also increased the repo rate since May 2022 to manage rising inflation. In line with RBI‘s rate hike, banks are following suit, which is a positive for various deposit schemes. With the current upward revision of interest rates, small savings schemes have become more attractive to investors, especially for those who are looking for long-term investments.
The government’s recent measures to increase interest rates on small savings schemes will benefit customers and attract more investment in these schemes, especially in rural areas and among various sections of society.
The Mahila Samman Savings Certificates scheme will empower women and girls to become financially self-reliant, leading to a more inclusive and prosperous society.