If the financial future of your girl child concerns you then the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is just what you need to secure your child’s future. It is a small saving scheme that has been introduced as a part of the government’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign. It is aimed at accumulating enough wealth to secure a girl child’s future in terms of both education and marriage.
Here are a few facts about Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana that you should know if you are planning to invest in it.
- Account opening: The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account can be opened by the parents and the guardians of every girl child. You can open this account till your girl child attains the age of ten years. A girl child can have only one account in her name. As parents, you can open accounts for only two girl children. In the case of twins or triplets, then the account can be opened for the third child too. The post office, as well as the authorized bank branches, can open these accounts.
The documents pertaining to the identity of the girl child and also the proof of her residence have to be submitted by the depositor while opening the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account.
- Age: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account can be opened in the name of a girl child. It can be opened till the child attains ten years of age. In the year 2015, when this scheme was introduced one-year of age relaxation was offered. While opening the account, the birth certificate has to be submitted as age
- Interest rate: For the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, the interest rate varies and is not fixed. The government decides and declares the interest rate for every quarter for small savings schemes like the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana and PPF. This is decided based on the G-sec yields. The compound interest gets credited to the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account. The current rate is 9.10% p.a (2017-2018)
- Deposits: In the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, the minimum initial deposit while opening the account is Rs 250 (Earlier it was Rs 1000). Every year from the year of opening the account a deposit has to be made. The amount could be any, and it should be in multiples of 100. For a financial year, a minimum amount of Rs 250 has to be deposited. The maximum limit is Rs 1.5 Lakhs. From the date of account opening till the next 14 years, deposits can be made in this account. It is preferred to deposit before the 5th of every month to obtain the highest interest for that particular month.
There is no limit that is imposed on the number of deposits that can be made in a month or a financial year. The mode of deposit could be electronic transfers, cash, cheques, and or demand drafts. In case of a demand draft or a cheque, the encashment date will be considered as the date of credit into your account.
- Transfer of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account: If you wish to transfer the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account, you are free to do so. It can be transferred anywhere in India if the concerned girl child shifts to a place other than her current locality and away from where the account has been created.
- Penalty: If for a financial year, the minimum deposit criteria is not met then the fine levied will be of Rs 50 per year. In case the penalty amount is not paid, the deposited amount will receive only 4% interest, which is the prevailing interest rate at the post office savings bank. If any excess interest rate is being paid, there shall be a reversal of the same.
- Account operation: The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana can be opened by the parent or the guardian of the girl child. Once the child attains ten years of age, the child can operate the account opened in her name. Before the attainment of 10 years, it has to be operated by a parent or a guardian.
- Maturity: The maturity date of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana scheme is at the earlier of a) The date on which the girl attains 21 years of age, b) At the date of the girl child’s marriage. The account closes when the girl child completes 21 years. If the account is not closed when concerned girl completes 21 years, then the balance will earn interest. However, this depends on the specifications laid down by the scheme from time to time.
In case of death of the girl child, the account will be closed immediately on producing the death certificate. The money collected along with interest earned till the preceding month of premature closure will be awarded to the guardian or parent of the girl child.
- Withdrawal of the funds: Once the concerned girl child attains 18 years of age, 50 percent of the amount can be withdrawn. This amount is supposed to be utilised for the girl’s higher studies. The remaining amount can be withdrawn at the age of 21 years. This amount can be used to meet her marriage expenses. Unlike PPF the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana does not offer any loan facility.
- Tax benefits: The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana investments are exempted from tax under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. For every financial year, Rs 1.5 lakhs in the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana qualifies for income tax deduction. Just like the PPF, the interest income, as well as the maturity amount, is totally tax-free. This makes it a desired investment option for every girl child.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a very good investment option for securing every girl child’s future. It is a long-term scheme with good benefits. Invest in this scheme to nurture, build and secure your girl child’s future.