Your love for your daughter will shine best through the future you secure for her. No amount is too small to start investing. Irrespective of how much you earn, there is always a way to save for your girl’s future. Launched by the Government of India in January 2015, the scheme Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is an exclusive saving scheme designed for the financial well-being of a girl child. This saving plan offers the highest interest rate when compared to all other plans, such as Fixed Deposit, Recurring Deposit, or Public Provident Fund. Hailed as the perfect saving plan to help a girl for higher education and marriage plans, Sukanya Samriddhi account can also get you tax benefits. Let us learn more in detail about the features of this saving scheme.
Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Account
This saving scheme can be opened by a parent or guardian at all post offices and banks any time from the birth of a girl child to until she turns 10 years old.
Deposit Amount: Initially, you must deposit Rs. 250 to open the account and later you can deposit in multiples of 100s. You must deposit a minimum amount Rs. 250 per year. Failure to keep up the minimum deposit amount will invite a penalty of Rs. 50. Maximum amount of Rs. 1,50,000 can be deposited per year. Only one account can be opened per girl child, and more than two accounts cannot be opened in a single family; however, the rules vary for twins and triplets. The account can be operated by the girl once she attains the age of 10 years.
The deposits can be made through cash, cheque, demand draft, or online transfer through internet banking. Standing instructions can also be set through internet banking to deposit a certain amount automatically from your bank account.
Tenure & Withdrawal: The maturity period of the scheme is 21 years. Withdrawal of 50% of the amount can be made when she turns 18, and it can be used for her higher education. However, under some critical circumstances, premature withdrawal is allowed after completing the 5 years of tenure. If the girl passes away, the balance amount can be withdrawn by the parent or guardian by producing death certificate. If the girl’s marriage is arranged when she turns 18, partial withdrawal can be made before the one month of the marriage or after three months.
Interest Rate: Sukanya Samriddhi Account provides the highest interest rate in the country among all other savings schemes, such as PPF, FD, RD, etc. This is to promote the financial security and financial freedom of the girl child when she grows up. The interest rate on the plan is revised at every financial quarter. Currently, it is at 8.5% and interest is compounded annually.
Tax Benefits: The parent or guardian who has opened the account on behalf of the girl can also claim tax deduction for up to Rs. 1.5 Lakhs per year under Section 80C of Income Tax Act 1961. Initially, only the deposits were eligible for tax deduction, but the plan is being reassessed to provide tax exemption for interest too.
Documentation: To open an account, you need to submit the birth certificate of the girl child and identity and address proof the parent or guardian who would make the deposits.
Other Facts You Must Know
The scheme cannot be opened by Non-Resident Indians while they are staying in abroad but can be opened when they stay in India. However, in the case of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), there is not provision of opening a Sukanya Samriddhi Account as the nationality of the daughter is not Indian. If the girl becomes an NRI, the status shall be communicated by the girl or depositor within 1 month
The account can be transferred from anywhere in India from any post office and bank to any other post or bank branch. It is done at free of cost just by submitting the proof of shifting the residence
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu reported higher number of account openings since the launch of the scheme
The scheme will not earn any interest after the date of maturity
The amount can be withdrawn only by the account holder and not by the parent or guardian
List of Authorised Banks to Open Sukanya Samriddhi Account
The saving scheme can be opened at all post offices across India and at the following banks authorised by the Government of India:
- Allahabad Bank
- Andhra Bank
- Axis Bank
- Bank of Baroda
- Bank of India
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Canara Bank
- Central Bank of India
- Corporation Bank
- Dena Bank
- Indian Bank
- Punjab National Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank
- IDBI Bank
- Oriental Bank of Commerce
- Syndicate Bank
- UCO Bank
- Union Bank of India
- United Bank of India
- State Bank of India
- Vijaya Bank
Sukanya Samriddhi Account is the best saving scheme for your daughter. It could be the best gift you can give her for her life.