Prime minister Narendra Modi will kick off the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign on Thursday from Panipat, which has amongst the lowest child sex ratios in the country.
The prime minister will also launch a special deposit scheme — Sukanya Samriddhi Account for girl children scheme by handing over passbooks to five girls who have opened bank accounts under the scheme.
As an added incentive for parents of girls to invest in the scheme, the government is planning to exempt the interest income on the scheme.
“The Sukanya Samriddhi Account is aimed at meeting the expenditure on the education and marriage of a girl child. The Prime Minister will launch it formally by handing over passbooks to five girls,” said a government official.
The finance ministry had on Tuesday notified a 9.1 per cent interest rate for the scheme for 2014-15.
“At present, only the contribution of upto Rs 1.5 lakh is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. But discussions are on to also exempt the interest income,” said the official adding that a formal announcement is likely in the Union Budget 2015-16.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2014-15 and has been notified by the finance ministry. Under the scheme, a savings account can be opened by the parent or legal guardian of a girl of less than 10 years of age. Withdrawals up to 50 per cent will be allowed prior to maturity.
The account can be opened in a post office or public sector bank with a minimum deposit of Rs 1,000, following which any amount in multiples of Rs 100 can be deposited. The minimum deposit in a financial year is Rs 1,000 and the maximum is Rs 1,50,000, which is eligible for tax deduction as well.