Long gone are the days when women were dependent on the men in the family for financial security. Today, they can kick start an enterprise or buy a home, all on their own. Keeping aside all social, cultural and economical barriers, countless female-friendly schemes are working towards empowering women in India. They strive to ensure gender equality, empowerment and equal opportunities, which ultimately lead to sustainable development.
Women are free to take decisions and participate in their own financial future. These can be easily backed by financial benefits of government-based programs to ease the journey at every step of your life. If you are unsure of the most beneficial schemes, read on to find out how to make the best use of each one.
1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
Under the PM Awas Yojana, housing preference is given to single, married or widowed women home buyers. In fact, for new purchases, women ownership is mandatory. The interest rate for women is just 8.25% per annum. You also receive special benefits and interest rates to be able to purchase your home, hassle free. All you have to do is fill a form with the key details. Now, you are free to take a loan under the PMAY scheme for up to 20 years, with no pre-payment charges.
2. Annapurna Scheme
This primarily helps women who wish to start their catering business. The maximum fund granted under this scheme is ₹50,000, for working capital needs. The EMI for the first month is waivered and you can repay the rest in monthly instalments in 36 months. However, you will need to provide a collateral to be able to benefit from this scheme. It could be even be assets from your upcoming business.
3. Mahila Shakti Kendra
This has been approved to help rural Indian women reach their full potential. It offers opportunities for development in health, community engagement, skills, nutrition, education and employment. Each unit is located in backward areas and functions at 4 basic levels: block, district, state and national. This way, women are not left behind and are an integral part of the country’s progress.
4. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
This is one of the oldest schemes, celebrating the girl child in India. It is joint initiative run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resources. The campaign works towards the eradication of female feticide and empowering girls to become financially independent. It also betters welfare services like literacy, to offer a fulfilling life to countless girls and women.
5. Mahila Vikas Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched this scheme for budding women entrepreneurs to fund their initial capital requirements. You can benefit from 2% concession in the interest rate, but you must have at least 51% share in the business. In case you are taking a loans between ₹10,00,000 and ₹ 25,00,000, there is no need to provide collateral. Lastly, you are free to repay within the next 7 years of taking the loan. Whether you are picking PMAY or any other government funded scheme, ensure that you read the terms and conditions carefully. This way, you will be able to choose the one that suits your requirements the best and helps you progress in your venture effectively.