Definition: Sukanya Samriddhi Account, also called as Girl Child Prosperity Account is the saving scheme backed by the Government of India on which the fixed interest is paid. This scheme was launched for the parents of a girl child to encourage them to save funds to meet the future expenses incurred in the higher education and marriage of their girl child.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 under “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Campaign”. The main objective of this scheme is to ensure that the future marriage and education expenses of a female child are met easily. This scheme offers several benefits to the parents of a girl child and is easily available at post offices and the specified nationalized banks.
The following are the main features of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme:
- The account can be opened only for a girl child who should be a citizen of India and must be of the age of 10 years or younger.
- Only the Parent or legal guardian is eligible to open an account in the name of a girl child. One account for one girl child is permissible. Maximum two accounts can be opened for two different girl children. Exception: when a parent has three girl child (triplets) in the first birth or twin girl child in the second birth, maximum three accounts can be opened.
- Minimum Rs. 1,000 needs to be invested in a year, and the subsequent installments shall be in the multiples of Rs. 100. While, the maximum limit in a financial year is 1,50,000. A subscriber can deposit the amount either in a lump sum or in installments. There is no limit on the number of deposits made either in the months or in a financial year.
- If minimum 1,000 is not deposited in the account, then the account stands deactivated and can be reactivated by paying a penalty of Rs. 50 along with the minimum deposit required for a year i.e. Rs. 1,000.
- The payment can be made either in the cash/cheque/DD.
- This scheme offers one of the highest interest rates, currently the rate of interest is 8.6% compounded annually (w.e.f. 1 April 2016).
- The subscriber is required to make deposits for 14 years from the date the account is opened. The account gets mature after 21 years from the day it was commenced.
- No premature withdrawal is permitted. However, 50% of the amount deposited can be withdrawn, if the girl reaches 18 years of age and the money is required for her higher education or marriage.
- The tenure of Sukanya Samriddhi Account is 21 years from the date of its opening, or when the girl child gets married, whichever happens, earlier. The account gets compulsorily closed once the girl gets married.
- The amount deposited in the account can be claimed for the deductions under Section 80 C of the Income Tax Act. Also, the maturity and interest amount is completely tax-free.
- A girl child can herself operate an account once she attains the age of 10 years.
Note: The birth certificate of a child, identity proof of the depositor and the residence proof of the depositor must be furnished before the opening of the account.