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Empowering Women: Investment Avenues for Sheconomy in India

Financial independence is a key driver of women's empowerment. By leveraging the plethora of investment options available, from government schemes to open market instruments, women in India are taking charge of their financial futures.

Empowering Women: Investment Avenues for Sheconomy in India

Saturday March 09, 2024 , 4 min Read

Women in India are rewriting the narrative. They are shattering glass ceilings across industries and actively seeking financial independence. A secure financial future is a cornerstone of this empowerment, and a growing number of women are taking charge by exploring various investment opportunities. This article dives into the diverse investment landscape available to women in India, encompassing government schemes, post office options, and the open market.

Government Schemes: A Safe Start to Exponential Growth

The Indian government offers several attractive schemes specifically designed to empower women investors. The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a long-term, low-risk option with a current interest rate of 7.1% (as of March 8, 2024). Deposits in PPF qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C, making it a tax-efficient investment avenue. Similarly, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana caters to girl-child education and marriage. It boasts an impressive 7.5% interest rate (as of March 8, 2024) and tax benefits under Section 80C. Recognising the need for short-term financial goals, the government launched the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC) in 2023. This unique scheme offers a high 7.5% interest rate for the initial two years (until March 2025) and is exclusively available to women investors. Looking towards retirement planning, the National Pension System (NPS) provides market-linked returns and tax benefits under Section 80C, allowing women to build a secure future.

A Step Above: Post Office Schemes

Beyond government schemes, post offices offer a safe and accessible platform for women to begin their investment journey. The Post Office Savings Account provides a familiar and convenient option for regular savings with regular interest payouts. For those seeking a steady flow of income, the Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) offers monthly interest disbursements. Building financial discipline is crucial, and the Recurring Deposit (RD) scheme from the post office encourages regular deposits with compounded quarterly interest.

Above the Safer Bets

The open market presents a wider array of investment avenues for women with varying risk appetites. Mutual funds, professionally managed baskets of stocks, bonds, and other assets offer diversification and the potential for good returns. Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) in mutual funds allow for disciplined investing with smaller, regular contributions. Fixed Deposits (FDs) offered by banks and financial institutions provide guaranteed returns for a fixed tenure, making them suitable for risk-averse investors. For those comfortable with higher risk, direct investment in the stock market offers the potential for significant returns. However, careful research and potentially consulting a financial advisor are recommended before venturing into this space. Real estate is another option, offering the possibility of rental income and capital appreciation. However, a significant initial investment is required. Gold, a traditional hedge against inflation, can be purchased physically or through Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Tax Benefits to Promote Sheconomy

Investing is not just about financial gain; it empowers women to take control of their financial future. Tax benefits further incentivise women's participation in the investment landscape. Section 80C allows deductions of up to ₹1.5 lakh per annum for investments in PPF, NPS, specific mutual funds, and other schemes. Investing in health insurance premiums for themselves, spouses, and dependent parents qualifies for deductions under Section 80D. Additionally, interest income up to ₹7.5 lakh per year from certain bank deposits is exempt from tax. The active participation of women in the investment scene is a positive development for both their personal finances and the Indian economy as a whole. Investing empowers women to achieve financial goals, build a safety net, and plan for a secure retirement. This increased investment pool leads to a more robust financial ecosystem, fostering economic growth. Women often bring a different perspective to investing, leading to a more diversified overall investment landscape, and further strengthening the financial system.

In conclusion, financial independence is a key driver of women's empowerment. By leveraging the plethora of investment options available, from government schemes to open market instruments, women in India are taking charge of their financial futures. This active participation strengthens their financial well-being and contributes positively to the Indian economy. Remember, consulting a financial advisor can help you understand your risk tolerance and create a personalised investment plan aligned with your specific goals.

Edited by Rahul Bansal