Today, on the 70th Independence Day of India, let’s talk about financial freedom for women! Women in the country have been struggling since very long to achieve financial freedom and getting equal access to capital than their male counterparts to build and grow their business.
Since very long, the Government of India has been taking several steps for women empowerment and their well being including Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS), Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana Conditional Maternity Benefit plan (CMB), Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, Beti Bacha Beti Padhao, and Priyadarshin.
Nowadays, when women are leaving no stone unturned in all the areas of work (including business, corporate, small sector industries, self-employment, political positions, and so on), just taking care of women’s well being is not enough. They deserve more than that; they deserve financial freedom too to realize their dreams of achieving success in the area of their work and making it a big hit.
Since its Independence, the Indian Government has been providing all the much needed financial support to women through various schemes and rebates.
The key objective of the scheme is to provide affordable housing facilities to the common and underprivileged citizens of the country by mid 2022. The beneficiaries will get home loans and other help under PMAY for building pucca houses. The government has made a list of beneficiaries who will receive housing assistance to build pucca houses under PMAY at subsidized interest rates. The list includes women, and citizens belonging to financially poor categories, lower income groups, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other backward classes.
To support women empowerment, the government has made it compulsory for every family who wants to get enlisted in PMAY to have one registered woman owner of the house. The applicant should register the property on his wife or mother’s name.
This all women’s bank was launched by the former Prime Minister of India, Shri Manmohan Singh in the year 2013, aiming to serve the women’s banking needs and promoting their economic empowerment. Bhartiya Mahila Bank was merged with State Bank of India recently. This bank extends services to women as well as businesses run by women, and financially supports self-help groups of women and their livelihoods. Although it accepts deposits from everyone, the lending facilities are extended to women predominantly.
The national credit fund for women or Rashtriya Mahila Kosh was set up in 1993 to provide micro credit facilities to poor women for livelihood and income generating support at concessional terms. The credit fund is now being restructured by the government as an NBFC with an amount of 500 Crores.
This micro finance institution was founded by Chetna Sinha in 1997. It provides loans to women living in rural areas. The institution aims at economic empowerment of rural women by providing capital and several other financial services.
Set up by SIDBI, this fund aims at helping women in rural areas by granting them a loan to start their entrepreneurial career with ease in the field of spinning, knitting, weaving, embroidery products, handlooms handicrafts, block printing, bamboo products etc.
Not just government, but banks, NBFCs, and other financial institutions are also coming forward in support for women empowerment. Several banks extend Home Loans at reduced interest to the women borrowers. For example, State Bank of India offers Home Loan to women borrowers at an interest rate of 8.6% and at 8.65% to others for an amount of up to 75 Lakhs. ICICI, HDFC, and Indiabulls are offering loans of up to 75 Lakhs at 8.65% interest rate to women borrowers while other borrowers can avail it at an interest rate of 8.7%.
With such an extensive support from government and financial institutions, financial freedom has become reality for the women of India.
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