Sukhanya Samriddhi Yojana (Small Saving Scheme). With the birth of a girl child comes great responsibility on the parents. Investing on education and marrying the girl with an additional investment on the wedding and dowry has become a burden for many, one of the primary reasons of increased female feticide.
With the world heading towards advancements, India is still trying to buck up and provide benefits to the people especially the most ignored species, the GIRLS. However, to empower the girl child, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a small deposit scheme this year specially aimed at the higher education and/or marriage needs. This scheme is launched as a part of the “Beti Bachao Beti Padao” Yojana.
This is an effort put in best to secure the future of the girl child, moreover, educatingthe parents to save the girl child due to the relaxed responsibilities. This in turn will address the issue of gender imbalance, especially in the rural parts of India,being the toughest area to deal with. A lot of effort still has to be done in such areas for better practical results.
Opening Of the Sukhanya Samriddhi Account :
- This account may be opened by the birth parents or by the guardian in the name of the girl until she attains the age of 10.
- The account can be opened in authorized bank branches or even in the post offices.
- Only one account is allowed for a girl child.
- The parents/ legal guardian cannot open more than two accounts i.e., maximum of two children.
- In cases where the parent delivers triplets or twins, this facility can be extended, provided, they submit the relevant medical certificates.
- While opening the account, birth certificate of the girl child and residence proof of the account depositor should also be submitted.
- NRIs cannot open this account.
Interest Rate in Sukhanya Samriddhi Account:
Every year interest rate will be declared. For the year 2014-15, government has declared paying 9.1 per cent interest. Please click on this link to check current interest Rate.
With an initial and minimum investment of Rs.1000/- this account can be opened. Thereafter any amount in multiples of Rs.100 can be deposited. Maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited in one financial year. Deposits can be made till completion of 14 years from the date of opening the account.
The account remains operative for 21 years from opening or till marriage of the girl child after reaching the age of 18, whichever is earlier.
Withdrawal or Closure:
Once the girl child attains the age of 18, 50% of the money can be withdrawn for the girl’s higher studies. The account cannot be withdrawn until the age of 18, to prevent any system of early marriage. However the account can be closed in case of maturity or at the death of girl child. For some reason, if the depositor is not able to continue, power of relaxation does exist.
If in a financial year, the minimum amount has not been deposited, the account stands inactive. A fine of Rs.50 per year has to be deposited to re-active the account.
Transfer of Account:
Sukanya Samriddhi account can be transferred anywhere across India, if there is a change of city or locality of the girl child.
Details related to Tax were much unclear before launch of the budget 2014-15. Now, after announcement of the budget, the parents and guardians are much relaxed. Tax under 80C of the Income Tax Act is deductible up to Rs.1.5 lakhs. In fact, not only the principal investment, but also the interest that the account earns would be tax exempted. Such a relief for the depositors!
Added advantage is that, the amount after maturity would also be tax free, whether the amount is withdrawn after 18 years or 21 years or any time later too.
While there are many benefits associated with the scheme, the sad part is that even after 2 months of the launch of Sukhanya Samriddhi Yojana, banks are still clueless of the guidelines. Private Banks are equally unaware. This is from news reported last week in The Economic Times.
The situation is intense for those whose girl child is almost nearing the said age of 10 as the scheme allows investments for only 14 years and matures at the age of 21.Hence quick and widespread awareness has to take place.
This is a no doubt, a phenomenal step for the future of the every child and a relief to the parents as well, flexible, secure and completely tax free.
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