In the present world where crimes against women are increasing with each passing day, it is extremely important to educate girls and make them aware of their own rights. In order to make the future of every girl child in India secure, the government has introduced various savings schemes where the parents can invest and grow wealth for their daughter over a period. One such savings schemes specially designed for the betterment of girl children in the country is the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. Launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana’ this scheme aims to encourage parents to save money for the education and marriage of their daughters.
Under this scheme, the parents of girl children can open two savings accounts. However, people who have more than two children are not permitted to open a third or fourth account irrespective of the number of daughters they have. The tenure of these accounts is 21 years or until the girl child gets married after turning 18, whichever is applicable. This government initiative is not only apt for the current time but also is likely to improve the position of the girl children in India.
Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme that you should know about
Here are the key features of the scheme that you should be aware of before investing in it:
- A Sukanya Samriddhi account can be opened by the parents of a girl child anytime from the day when the child is born until she reaches 10 years of age.
- Under this scheme, an individual can deposit a minimum of Rs.250 or a maximum of Rs.1,50,000.
- Individuals who opt for the scheme have to invest in it for the initial 14 years. After that, the account will start earning the pertinent interest rate from the 15th year until its maturity.
- In order to safeguard the interest of the girl child and ensure that the money can only be availed by her at the time of need, only the girl is given the right to access the account after attaining 18 years of age.
- Once the girl turns 18 years old, she can make a withdrawal of 50% to meet the expenses of her higher education.
- The invested amount will mature after 21 years and give out a lump sum amount which will cover the expenses related to the education, marriage, etc., of the girl in whose name the account has been opened.
- The account can be normally closed if the girl gets married at the age of 18.
Interest rate of Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme
Currently, an interest rate of 8.5% p.a. is levied for the first quarter of Financial Year 2019-20. This means, if you deposit an amount of Rs.1,000 every month for 14 consecutive years from the day of the birth of your daughter, as per the current interest rates, on the maturity of the account after 21 years you will get a return of Rs.5,42,122. If you choose to deposit a higher amount on your investment you will accordingly get better returns on the maturity of the account
Benefits of opening a Sukanya Samriddhi account
The main benefit of the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme is that it is designed for the overall benefit of girl children in the country. The other key benefits of this scheme are as follows:
- Since it is sponsored by the Government of India you can be sure to get guaranteed returns upon maturity of the account.
- Individuals who have more than one girl child are allowed to apply for two accounts under this scheme.
- It offers flexible investment option with a minimum deposit of Rs.250 in a year and a maximum of up to Rs.1.5 lakh p.a.
- You can get a higher fixed rate of return, which is currently 8.5% p.a. for Q4 FY 2018-19 compared to other tax saving schemes sponsored by the government.
- Since it is a long-term investment scheme, the account holders will get compounding benefit.
- The investors can avail tax exemption benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 up to Rs.1.5 lakh annually.
- The scheme can be easily transferred from one part of the country to another in case the parent or guardian who has opened the account is transferred.
- There is a facility to open a Sukanya Samriddhi account in all the popular Indian banks which have an affiliation to the scheme.
Key eligibility criteria for opening a Sukanya Samriddhi account
The following are the basic eligibility criteria that an individual must meet in order to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account:
- An account under this scheme can either be opened by the parents of a girl child or her legal guardians in her name.
- It is mandatory that the girl child is less than 10 years of age at the time of opening the account.
- An individual can’t open multiple Sukanya Samriddhi accounts if he/she is the parent of a single girl child.
- Only two accounts under this scheme can be opened by a family, irrespective of how many girl children they might have.
How to invest in the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana?
In order to make the scheme a great success, the government has provided wide access to the parents of girl children so that they don’t find any difficulty while availing the scheme. They can open an SSY account either through a post office or branches of banks affiliated with the scheme. While opening this scheme as a part of the documentation, you are required to submit KYC documents such as your Aadhaar Card, Passport, Voter ID card, etc. Along with this, you will also have to fill up the form and pay the initial deposit amount through draft or cheque
Bankbazaar provides the more information of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account, Interest rates, Eligibility and Benefits.