Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Budget 2023 on February 1. She made announcements to change the income tax slabs change in the new tax regime, along with crucial changes in some of the already existing savings schemes.
The finance minister announced a new scheme for women, Mahila Samman Saving Certificate.
What is Mahila Samman Saving Certificate?
Mahila Samman Saving Certificate is a one-time new small savings scheme of the government of India announced in the Budget 2023.
The finance minister stated that Mahila Samman Savings Certificate will be made available for a two-year period up to March 2025.
Mahila Samman Saving Certificate Interest Rate
This will offer deposit facility upto Rs.2 lakh in the name of women or girls for a tenure of 2 years at fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent with a partial withdrawal option.
Experts feel that the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate is a suitable alternative to fixed deposits (FDs) invested in the name of a woman for the short term.
“The returns are higher than bank FDs and partial withdrawal makes liquidity less of a concern,” Adhil Shetty, Chief Executive Officer, Bankbazaar.com told Moneycontrol.
Difference between Mahila Samman Saving Certificate and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
The Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a small deposit scheme of the government of India meant exclusively for a girl child. The scheme is meant to meet the education and marriage expenses of a girl child.
The current rate of interest offered by Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is 7.6%, which is compounded annually.
Account can be opened in the name of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years.
The total amount deposited in an account shall not exceed Rs 1,50,000 in a financial year.
Sukanya Samriddhi scheme has tax benefits under Section 80C.
The account matures after 21 years from the date of opening or on marriage of the girl child under whose name the account is opened, whichever is earlier.
The withdrawal of up to a maximum of 50% is allowed for the purpose of education, provided the account holder attains the age of eighteen years or has passed tenth standard, whichever is earlier.
It should be noted that the taxation structure of the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate scheme is yet to be known.
The finance minister also announced enhancement of the deposit limit for senior citizens-specific schemes and the monthly deposit schemes.
The maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme has been enhanced from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh.
Experts feel that increasing the cap for the Senior Citizen savings scheme should benefit the vast majority of retired employees. Similarly, increasing the cap on Monthly Income Scheme should also benefit the middle-income group.
Monthly Income Account Scheme
The maximum deposit limit for Monthly Income Account Scheme has been enhanced from Rs. 4.5 lakh to Rs. 9 lakh for single account and from Rs.9 lakh to Rs.15 lakh for joint account.
“We hope that the older women also get benefits of this scheme. In agribusiness and green growth initiatives women are also included, however, it is relevant to mention that older women play a very significant role in both, and we hope that they too get benefited. In the context of Amrit Kaal, where we are expecting the number of older women to increase exponentially, it would be good to make special efforts to include them and make them Atmanirbhar,” said Anupama Datta, Head – Policy Research & Advocacy, HelpAge India.
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