The Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme was launched in January 2015 by the Indian Prime Minister under the “ Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” initiative of the Government of India. The objective of this scheme is to financially secure the future of the girl child – who is still considered a liability on parents in many sections of our society.
This year’s budget has made both the interest and withdrawal in this scheme tax free, making it further attractive for investment. With this, it becomes the only other scheme apart from the popular PPF or Public Provident Fund to enjoy the EEE or exempt-exempt-exempt tax status which means the investment gets tax rebate and interest and the maturity proceeds are tax free.
This account can be opened by the guardian for the girl child up to 10 years of age. For this year this has been relaxed by an year, i.e accounts can be opened up to age 11 years. Only one account can be opened per child, for a maximum of two children per family. The only exception would be in case of triplets or if the parents have an older girl and then twin girls. In such cases, a third child can be extended this facility.
Amount of deposit and interest rate
An initial deposit of Rs 1000/- is required to open the account, which is also the minimum deposit per financial year. The maximum amount which can be deposited every year is Rs. 1.5 Lakhs. The investment is eligible for income tax rebate U/S 80 C. The interest rate declared for the current financial year is 9.1 % p.a. The government reserves the right to revise the interest rate every financial year.
Withdrawal clause and maturity
On attaining the age of 18, 50 percent of the accumulated corpus can be withdrawn. In case the girl child gets married at 18, the account can be closed and the entire proceeds withdrawn. In the normal course, the account has a duration of 21 years from the date of opening. (Deposits are mandatory only for the first 14 years) But the account can be continued beyond 21 years also and will continue to earn interest at the specified rate. But, if the girl gets married during these 21 years, no further operations will be allowed in the account and no interest will be payable after the date of marriage.
Where to open and documents required
This account can be opened with the birth certificate of the girl child and the identity and address proof of the parent or guardian. This account can be opened in any post office or specified branches of authorized public sector banks.