Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced a one-time new small savings scheme for women while presenting the Budget for the financial year 2023-’24.

The scheme – the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate – will offer a deposit facility of up to Rs 2 lakh in the name of a woman or girl for a tenure of two years. The scheme will offer a fixed interest rate of 7.5% and will have a partial withdrawal option, the finance minister said.

The scheme will be made available for a two-year period up to March 2025.

Sitharaman also announced that the maximum deposit limit under the Senior Citizens Saving Scheme will be increased to Rs 30 lakh from Rs 15 lakh. Citizens above 60 years and above can open an account under the scheme.

The scheme is open to citizens from the age of 55 to 60 years who opted for voluntary retirement or superannuation. Retired members of the armed forces can also open an account under the scheme if they are above 50 years of age.

The finance minister said that the maximum deposit limit for the Monthly Income Account Scheme will be increased from 4.5 lakh to 9 lakh for single accounts, and from 9 lakh to 15 lakh for joint accounts.

Under the scheme, a citizen can open an account in a post office and has to invest a minimum of Rs 1,500. The interest is disbursed on a monthly basis, and the account holder cannot withdraw the amount deposited for at least five years.

Meanwhile, Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that financial assistance of over Rs 2.25 lakh crore has been provided to small farmers under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi, PTI reported. As per the scheme, an amount of Rs 6,000 per year is paid to landholding agricultural families in three equal installments.

The finance minister said that for the economic empowerment of women under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission, the government has created 81 lakh self-help groups.