Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was launched by Government of India on 22 January 2015 for the welfare of girl children. It is a type of small saving scheme, which helps parents or guardians of the girl child to save for her education and marriage right from her birth. This scheme was launched as a part of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign.
When the account can be opened?
The Sunkanya Samriddhi account can be opened either in a post office or in a branch of a commercial bank. The account of the girl child can be opened anytime right from her birth till she attains an age of ten years. Parents can open account of up to two girl child and even of three girl child if the girl children born are twins or triplets.
Once the girl attains an age of ten years (the minimum age to open a bank account), she can operate her account. The account opened under this scheme can be transferred anywhere in the country. To do this the account operator needs to furnish proof of transferring to a new location. The transferred person may be either the account holder or parents/guardians of the account holder. But if the proof of transfer is not furnished, the account can be transferred by paying a fee of hundred rupees to the branch of post office or bank to which account is to be transferred.
Money to be deposited
To open the account of a girl child, a minimum of 250 rupees needs to be submitted, earlier the limit was 1,000 rupees to open an account under this scheme. After which parents of the girl child can deposit any amount in the multiples of hundred per year. The maximum deposit limit is 1.5 lakh rupees per annum. The parents or guardian needs to submit money under this scheme until 15 years from the date of opening the account.
When the account matures?
Account mature on competition of 21 years from the date of opening of the account. However, 50 per cent of the money can be withdrawn on competition of 18 years of age of girl child for the purpose of her higher education or marriage. The premature closure of an account is also permissible in case of death of the depositor or in cases of extreme compassionate grounds such as medical support in life-threatening diseases.
Tax benefits under this scheme
When the scheme was launched in February 2015, only the amount deposited in the account was eligible for the tax deduction under section 80 C of the Income tax act. However, in the Union budget 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced tax exemption on the interest from the account and on withdrawal from the fund after maturity, making the tax benefits similar to that of the Public Provident Fund.
Mode of depositing the amount
The modes of payment like Cash, Cheque, Demand Draft, online transfer, etc are allowed to deposit money. However, a penalty of 50 rupees is charged on not depositing the minimum specified amount in the Sunkanya Samriddhi account per year.
The interest rate under this scheme
Currently, the interest rate provided under this scheme is 8.5 per cent, which was recently hiked from 8.1 per cent. It will remain the same for October to December quarter.