Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a small deposit scheme for girl child, launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, which would fetch an attractive interest rate and provide income tax rebate.
- ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Account’ can be opened at any time from the birth of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years.
- To motivate parents to open an account in the name of a girl child and for her welfare to deposit maximum of their savings upto the prescribed limits.
- To meet the requirement of higher education expense for girls.
- It would prevent early marriages of girl and ensure equitable share to a girl child in resources and savings of a family in which she is generally discriminated as against a male child.
- The Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) is opened to facilitate their education and marriage expenses with a minimum deposit of Rs 250 and a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh.
- A parent or legal guardian can open an account in the name of the girl child until she attains the age of ten years.
- She can withdraw 50% of the money after reaching age of 18 e.g. for higher education and marriage. 18 years deadline will also help preventing child-marriages.
- The annual deposit (contributions) qualifies for Section 80C benefit and the maturity benefits are non-taxable.
- Tenure of the Deposit: 21 years from the date of opening of the account
- Deposits in SSY account can be made till the completion of 15 years from the date of opening the account.
- Transfer of account: The account may be transferred anywhere in India if the girl child in whose name the account stands shifts to a place other than the city or locality where the account stands
Some of the modifications were made in the rules of the scheme:
- Higher interest rate for default accounts: earlier default accounts (did not maintain minimum payment of 250 annually) earned only post office bank interest rate. However, now, such accounts will continue to earn applicable higher rate.
- Premature closure of account: along with earlier grounds of death of girl or change of residency, new rules add compassionate grounds as well including medical emergency or treatment of girl child.
- Operation of account: earlier, the girl could operate the SSA after she turns 10. However, now it is increased to 18 and till then only guardian will operate it
- Opening of accounts for more than two girl children: earlier, guardian had to submit medical certificate. Now, she/he has to submit birth certificates and affidavit.