Attribute to gender stereotyping or discriminatory behavior that favors the fair gender, women have a lot to gain in terms of personal finance benefits. This has greatly enhanced their involvement in financial decisions. More than the money matters that women are known to be adept at, many companies are now run by women entrepreneurs or have women at the helm for running their finances.
- Stamp duty concessions on registered property: This is a kind of tax that the government levies on legal documents during the transfer of property or other fixed assets. This amount is decided based on the consideration amount or the circle rates applicable to the properties in the area, whichever is more. Stamp duty rates vary between states, the lowest being in Maharashtra. New Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida charge rates between five and seven percent while people buying properties in Chennai have to shell out around seven percent. Stamp duty charges in other South Indian cities are between five and eight percent. States offer concessional rates on properties registered in women’s names, which means that will pay roughly one to two percent lower than men.
- Property tax rebates: This is the amount that landowners must pay to the concerned municipal corporation or the local bodies in that area. These taxes must be paid every year and are levied on all tangible real estate properties owned in a particular area. Nicknamed house tax, this tax is levied on real estate assets that include residential homes, office buildings and premises rented out to third parties. Women are entitled to a rebate of 30 percent on any one property with a carpet area up to 200 square meters.
- Reduced home loan rates: For any property registered in a woman’s name, banks and non-banking financial companies charge lower interest rates on home loans sought from them. This was a major step taken to encourage women to own assets and become homeowners. Though the subsidized home loan interest rates may be 0.05-0.1 percent lower, these discounts heavily affect the EMIs, thus, easing their ability to repay the loan amount. Also, women can access higher loan amounts with simple eligibility criteria. Women can also opt for longer repayment tenures, which means that they can continue to repay the loan over the next 25-30 years depending on the loan amount sought and their ability to pay it off. Besides, some lenders also relax the loan processing terms while also partially waiving off the processing fees.
- Credit subsidy on house purchase: The government’s “Housing for All” scheme takes special care to ensure that more women come forward to buy homes or participate in the purchase process as co-owners. Credit subsidies are offered to women buying under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. The PMAY scheme mandates the inclusion of women in the co-ownership of the properties applied for. The credit scheme under the PMAY scheme is available only if a woman is the co-owner of the property.
- Cheap loans for entrepreneurs: Women entrepreneurs have a lot to gain as the government offers them cheap credit. Under the Mudra scheme, women are entitled to a discount of 25 bps on small loans up to ₹10 lac.
- Savings bank accounts for women: Beyond loans and cheaper credit, the banking sector has designed some financial products exclusively for women. Apart from the cheaper loans and other fiscal benefits, female customers benefit from being able to maintain a lower minimum balance in their savings accounts. Some private banks also ensure added benefits like the HDFC Bank allowing an accidental death cover of ₹10 lac, accidental hospitalization cover of ₹1 lac, preferential interest rates, waiver of first year’s locker rental, and the EasyShop Woman's Advantage Debit Card.
- Exclusive credit cards: Even the plastic money that women use is customized to suit their needs. Some banks do not restrict the number of ATM withdrawals by women while also availing them special discounts at specified retail merchant outlets and more reward points on certain spends.