Sukanya Samridhi Yojana (SSY) is a government scheme that was introduced by the finance ministry and launched by our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22nd January 2015 in Panipat, Haryana. The scheme is targeted at the parents of a girl child and has been launched to promote the welfare of the girl child.
The scheme is a part of BetiBachao, BetiPadhao campaign. The scheme provides stability and financial security to women by encouraging the parents of the girl child to save and invest money in this scheme. The money saved would enable the girls to fulfil their educational ambitions and to address their personal ambitions like marriage, hobbies, etc.
As per the scheme, the savings rate of interest of 8.5% is given, which is the highest amongst other prevailing investment schemes. Apart from this, the scheme grants plenty of tax benefits under Section 80 C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.The scheme is widely available and accessible across all parts of the country. All you need to do is to open an account with any post office, or can open an account with any of the 22 authorized banks to avail this scheme. The opening deposit can be between Rs. 250 and Rs. 1,50,000 annually, based on the financial objectives of the account holder. The account holder can deposit money in multiples of 100. The money needs to be deposited in the scheme for 14 years, post which the investment reaches the maturity period in 21 years. The government has provided the flexibility of transferring the scheme from one post office or bank to another across India.
Key features of Sukanya SamridhiYojna
- The parents of the girl child or legal guardian (in the absence of parents) are authorized by the government to open the bank account to avail this scheme.
- The parents can hold two accounts parallelly for two girl child, and if the twin girls or triplets are born, resulting in three girls, then the parents can hold a total of three accounts.
- When the scheme was launched, the minimum opening balance was of Rs. 1000 which was reduced to Rs. 250 to make it affordable for the masses. Rs. 50 needs to be paid at the end of the year to renew this scheme.
- The account held under this scheme can be shut prematurely due to unforeseen circumstances such as untimely death of account holder.
- The savings rate of interest of 8.5% is the highest given in the prevailing investment schemes. This interest is revised every quarter.
- When the girl turns 18, then 50% of the money can be withdrawn from the account.
- The entire sum can be withdrawn from the account on its maturation day which is exactly after 21 years of the opening of the account. In case, the girl is getting married then she can withdraw the complete sum even before 21 years of the lock-in period.
- A minimum amount of Rs. 250 has to be deposited in the account every year, and the money can be deposited using demand draft, cheque, and cash.
- The scheme can be availed only by the girl child. The maximum age of the child to avail this scheme must be 10 years. However, a grace period of one year is given where a 10-year-old girl child can still open the account within one year of her turning 10. While opening this scheme, the age proof of the child needs to be submitted.
- At the time of maturity of the scheme, the amount is directly paid to the girl child who is the account holder too. The amount paid is the total of the principal amount along with the accrued interest, which has accumulated for over 21 years and compounded at 8.5%.
The maximum tax benefit that can be availed is of Rs. 1,50,000, which is same as other investment schemes.
Other details of Sukanya SamridhiYojna
- If the amount is not withdrawn at the time of maturity, then, no surplus amount will be credited to the account.
- The money can be deposited in multiples of hundred, which should amount to a minimum of 1000 Rs per year.
- The money needs to be paid continuously for a period of 14 years. So, say if your child is five years old, then you need to pay till when your child turns; 5+14 = 19 years old.
- The scheme also holds true for the adopted girl child.
- The passbook containing all the basic details is issued at the time of opening the account.
- If the account holder suffers from somelife-threatening disease or has met an untimely death, then, the account can be closed prematurely.
- The maturity amount is handed over to the girl child.
Sukanya SamridhiYojna is a great initiative taken by the government of India. It fully empowers the girl child by building a financial corpus that can be used for girls educational aspirations and her marriage. A woman is believed to shape up the future of the society and the nation. By accumulating the small savings for 14 years, you get a huge financial corpus to fund your child’s studies which will make her financially independent.