Started by the Government of India, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana initiative was brought to help the girl child, as part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign. The objective of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana scheme is to ensure the financial independence of girl child, remove hindrances in their higher education, marriage, etc. and ensure financial stability.
As per the scheme, parents of a girl child can deposit up to 1.5 lakhs, in the name of the girl, in this account every year. The account gives an interest of 8.5% per annum and matures when the girl turns 21 years old or get married, whichever comes first. The minimum deposit required is Rs. 250 and subsequent deposits can be made by monthly or annually, subject to a minimum of Rs. 250 annually. There are no limitations on the number of deposits which can be made in a month or a year.
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Benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:
Apart from the obvious interest benefits – 8.5% per annum, which, for FY 2018-19, is one of the highest among the savings schemes of this kind, there are other substantial advantages as well.
- Even this high rate of interest is revised every quarter in a year.
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana offers tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. And the best part is, both the accrued interest, throughout the tenure of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana savings scheme, and the maturity amount, are exempted from taxes.
- Investments in this scheme need to be made only for 14 years. After the end of 14 years, the amount at credit will continue to attract interest till the scheme matures.
- The account also allows for a partial withdrawal to be made when the girl turns 18 years old to support payments towards expenses for her education or even her marriage. A partial withdrawal of a maximum of 50% of the account balance can be withdrawn only for the purpose of financing her higher education.
Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:
- Maximum entry age is 10 years and the maximum amount that can be deposited, over a year, is 1,50,000.
- No interest will be credited after the maturity period of 21 years if the fund is not withdrawn.
- Non-resident Indians cannot open a Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna.
- Premature closure of an SSY account can be put forward in the event of the death of the account holder or on extreme compassionate grounds such as medical support in life-threatening diseases.
- The Maturity amount will be given directly to the girl child account.
- The Yojna scheme is also available for an adopted girl child.
- The government enables the flexibility of the savings scheme account to be transferred from one bank or post office to another bank or post office within India.
1. For the Girl child (Account holder)
For the girl child, the eligibility criteria that need to be met are:
- Only girl children can avail the benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana saving scheme.
- To be eligible for opening a Sukanya Samriddhi Account, the maximum age of a girl child cannot be more than 10 years. However, a grace period of 1 year is allowed. For instance, a 10 years old girl can still hold a Sukanya Samriddhi Account, provided it is opened within a year of her turning 10 years of age.
- Proof of age of the account holder has to be submitted at the time of applying for the savings scheme.
2. For Parents
The eligibility criteria for parents or legal guardians to be able to open an account for their girl child are:
- Only biological parents and legal guardians for a girl child can open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account on behalf of their child.
- One parent or legal guardian can open a maximum of two accounts for their girl children.
- As discussed above, a parent or legal guardian can open one Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts for one girl child, with the maximum number of accounts that can be opened being two. In the case of twins and triplets, one parent or legal guardian is eligible for opening up to three accounts.