The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, 2015, in order to encourage parents of a girl-child to stock a fund for their education and marriage. The saving scheme was launched by the Government of India as a part of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.
The flagship Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana currently provides an interest rate of 8.1 per cent along with tax benefits. But, it will earn an interest rate of 8.5 per cent in the next quarter, the government announced Thursday while announcing up to 40-basis point hike in the interest rate of small savings schemes for the third quarter i.e October-December 2018. Initially, the interest rate was set at 9.1 per cent but was later revised to 9.2 per cent in late March 2015 for FY2015-16. The rates were further revised for FY 2016-17 to 8.6 per cent. It came to 8.3 per cent during FY 2017-18.
People can open the Sukanya Samridhi account at any India Post office or branch of authorised commercial banks. The parents or the legal guardian can open the account for a girl child before she attains the age of 10 years. After turning 10, a girl can manage her account. The scheme allows one account per child and two accounts in a family. However, there is an exception for twins and triplets.
The account can be transferred anywhere in India and from or to post offices and from or to Banks and between the post office and Bank, free of cost on furnishing of proof of shifting of residence of either the guardian or the account holder.
Initially, the parents need to deposit a minimum of Rs 250 in the account after which, any amount in multiples of Rs 100 can be deposited. The minimum and maximum deposits are Rs 250, and Rs 150,000, respectively. There is a provision that if the minimum amount is not met in a year, the account holder will be fined Rs 50 for it. Deposita can be made through cash, cheque, demand draft or by transferring online.
The tenure of the account is 21 years from the date of opening and deposits can be done till the completion of 14 years of the account. After this period, the account will earn an applicable rate of interest only. The account will not earn interest at the prevailing rate if it is not closed. In case the girl completes 18 years of her age and gets married, normal closure is allowed.
Also, the beneficiary can withdraw 50 per cent of the deposit at the age of 18 years for the purposes of higher education. An admission offer letter and other documentary proof and fee slip along with the application for withdrawal will be needed at the time.
The scheme offers a tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh under section 80C of the Income-tax Act. Moreover, the accrued interest and maturity amount are also exempt from tax.
There are some provisions for the premature closure of the account which includes the death of the depositor or medical support for life-threatening circumstances. It can also be done id the account holder becomes non-resident of India.
Documents needed to open the Sukanya Samridhi Account
# Birth certificate of the girl child
# Identity and residential proof of the guardian
# Medical certificate for proof of birth of multiple girl children on a single order of birth
# Any other documents as required by post office or banks