What is the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme?
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme; that is offered in India Post office, India’s postal department, and in authorized banks, is part of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign launched by the government of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22nd January 2015.
Why it need initiatives to Empower the Girl Child
The girl child faces many challenges. If there are challenges she faces after her birth, there are obstacles even to her birth, in the form of evil practice of female foeticide. Scientific and technological advances have made it possible for the gender of a foetus to be determined. And this works against the female in the very womb. When it is discovered that the foetus of a girl is in the womb of the carrying mother to-be, the family, if it desires not to have the girl baby come into the family, decides to abort the pregnancy.
The result of such sex determination tests of the foetus, of the yet to be born child, as also the availability of pre-conception sex selection facilities and incidence of female infanticide has impacted the child sex ratio (CSR) over the years in India.
The child sex ratio is the number of girls per 1000 boys between 0-6 years of age. Statistics sourced from the Women and Child Development Ministry website shows that the CSR of India in the year 1991 was 945, and while in 2001 it had declined to 927, a decade later the figure stood at 919. The constantly declining CSR observed in the statistics since the year 1961 has been a matter of great concern.
Gender discrimination at every stage and level has been appalling. There has been a bias against the female gender socially and economically. The importance of fostering the empowerment of women, therefore, cannot be overemphasized.
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative of the Union government seeks to prevent the gender-based elimination of the girl child, and ensure the survival, protection, education and participation of girls in the nation’s life.
Why has the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme been introduced?
With a view to financially empower the girl child, the government launched the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme, open only for girl children, has been introduced with a view to ensure the welfare of the girl child by promoting regular saving of money by her parent/legal guardian in an account in her name.
Given the spread of post offices in the country, including in remote areas and troubled areas, the availability of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana at the post office is of great benefit to the people as it allows increased accessibility. The account can also be opened at any bank/post office authorized for the purpose.
How to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account
Get the form from any authorized bank and fill it completely, submit the form with all the documents required. Following are some information and facts about the Sukanya Samriddhi Account which you need to know before opening the account:
Facts and Information about Sukanya Samriddhi Account
- Who can open this account
This Account can be opened by parents/legal guardian of girl child up to 10 years of her age.
This account can be opened up to the age of 10 years of girl child, from the date of birth, in any post office or authorized bank.
- No. of Account
The scheme allows a guardian to open only one account in the name of one girl child and a maximum of two accounts in the name of two different girl children.
- Minimum amount
Minimum Rs. 250/- per annum is required to be deposited in the account otherwise it will be treated as discontinued account. Earlier to July 2018, minimum amount per annum was Rs. 1000.
- Maximum amount
Maximum Rs. 1.5 Lac can be deposited in a financial year (whether in multiples of hundred on a single occasion or at multiple occasions). It should not exceed the maximum limit per year.
- Minimum no. of years
Money must be deposited for 14 years.
- Yearly contribution
You can make yearly contribution at the beginning of financial year in April every year.
No withdrawal can be made from this account throughout 21 years.
- Contribute fix amount
It is not compulsory to deposit fix amount in this account.
- Online Money Deposit facility
Online money can be deposited in Sukanya Samriddhi Account (online transfers through internet Banking). Other modes of deposit are Cash/Cheque/Demand Draft.
- Where to Open this Account
This account can be opened at post office or any authorized banks. Around 28 banks are authorized to open this account.
Prerequisites (Documents) needed to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened with an initial deposit of Rs. 250/- or more.
Documents required are:
- Birth certificate of girl child
- Address proof
- Identity proof, Residence proof
- Two photographs of legal guardian
How to keep the Sukanya Samriddhi Account active
A multiple of Rs. 100 can be deposited with a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh and minimum of Rs. 1000 for a financial year.
Deposits can also be made in lump sum. There are no limits on the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.
How to revive a discontinued Sukanya Samriddhi Account
In the event of discontinuing the Sukanya Samriddhi Account during any financial year, there is a provision to re-activate it by paying a penalty of Rs. 50/- with a minimum deposit of Rs. 1000/- for the financial year.
Benefits of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme
- The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana promotes the economic empowerment of the girl child. With a regular saving of money by the guardian of a girl child in an account in her name, a certain financial security is assured for the girl on her attaining adulthood.
- With effect from 01.04.2017, the interest rate for the Sukanya Samriddhi Account is 8.4 %, calculated on a yearly basis and compounded annually.
- Investment in Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme is exempt from income tax under EEE under section 80C for the parent/guardian making the contribution to the account. By EEE is meant that the principal, interest and maturity amount are all exempt from tax.
- After attaining ten years of age, the girl child, in whose name the account is, may also operate the account. Until the girl is ten years of age, the parent/guardian is to operate the account.
- As for the maturity of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account, it is 21 years from the date of opening of the account.
- Normal premature closure of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account will be allowed after completion of 18 years provided the girl is married.
- Partial withdrawal, maximum up to 50% of balance, can be taken after the account holder attains the age of 18 years for expenses of higher education or of marriage.
- Interest Rate: Floating interest rate will be paid as per the rate declared by Government of India from time to time.
- After maturity, if account is not closed, interest will be paid continuously as specified for the scheme from time to time.
Drawbacks of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme
With at least a hundred million persons living below the poverty line, how at all will families in the BPL category be able to open and run an account? Also, the very poor and illiterate will not be able to understand and engage in such saving schemes for their girl children.
The rate of interest for the account varies; there is no fixed rate of interest for the investment in the account.
(Many of the statistics and details here about the Sukanya Samriddhi Account are based on information posted on the websites of the Women and Child Development Ministry, Government of India, and India Post.)
FAQs on Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme
Following are the frequently asked questions about Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme:
What is the age limit of a girl child to open this account?
The age limit of a girl child is 10 years from the date of birth.
Who can open this account?
Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened by the legal guardian or by parents of a girl child.
Where to go to open this account?
You need to go to the nearest post office or authorized bank branches to open this account.
Where to get forms to open this account?
You can get the form from the nearest post office or authorized bank branches.
How do you apply for Sukanya Samriddhi account in a bank?
You need to fill the Account Opening Form on behalf of the girl child and submit to the Bank branch with the KYC documents.
How many accounts you can open under this scheme?
A legal guardian or parents can open maximum 2 accounts for his/her 2 girl child only means “One girl, one account”.
*A person can open 3 accounts for his/her 3 daughters only if he has twin girl child and one another girl child.
How you will be confirmed that account is opened?
Submit the completely filled form with all the needed valid documents to the post office or authorized bank then you will get a passbook. Now, you can deposit money as you want according to the rule.
What are the required documents?
- Birth certificate of the girl child
- 2 passport size photographs
- Photo id of the parent or guardian
- And address proof.
What are the name of the Banks you can open account?
Banks that are authorized to open account under PPF scheme are also eligible to open account under Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. Following are name of authorized banks:
- State Bank of India
- State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
- State Bank of Hyderabad
- State Bank of Mysore
- Andhra Bank
- Allahabad Bank
- State Bank of Travancore
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Corporation Bank
- Dena Bank
- Union Bank of India
- State Bank of Patiala
- Bank of Baroda
- Bank of India
- Punjab & Sind Bank
- Canara Bank
- Central Bank of India
- Indian Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank
- Punjab National Bank
- Syndicate Bank
- UCO Bank
- Oriental Bank of Commerce
- Vijaya Bank
- Axis Bank Ltd.
- ICICI Bank Ltd.
- IDBI Bank Ltd.
- United Bank of India
What is the minimum and maximum limit of money you can deposit?
The minimum amount you can deposit is Rs. 1000 only and maximum 1.5 lakh per year. Money can be deposited in any amount monthly or yearly but should not exceed or go down the limit.
How much interest you can get from this account?
Interest rate of this account is changing every year means floating. In the very starting when the scheme was launched in 2015, the interest rate was 9.1%.
What is the deposit term?
You need to deposit money up to 14 years from the date of account opening. Means if your girl child is 6 yrs old, you can deposit money till 20th year of her age.
What is the maturity period?
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account will mature after 21 years from the date of opening of account.
When account will be closed?
Account will be closed after its maturity but if your daughter gets married before maturity of account, then the account will be closed on that year itself.
Is there Pre-mature withdrawal facility?
Yes, there is only one partial withdrawal facility. You can withdraw 50% of the amount deposited when the girl child is 18 yrs old for her education expense.
Rest amount will be in the account and earn compound interest till its maturity.
How many yrs you can get interest?
You can enjoy interest from 14 – 21 years (deposit period to maturity period) without any deposit.
When you can get penalty?
You can get penalty if you forget to deposit the minimum amount of Rs. 1000 in the account and your account will be discontinued. But, don’t worry; you can activate the account by paying the penalty of Rs. 50 only.
Is there facility of account transfer?
Yes, account can be transferred from one city to another in any part of country when girl is moving that city.
Is interest earned on this account taxable?
Interest earned on this account has been income tax exempted 100%.
What happened In case of death?
Unfortunately, in case of death of depositor, the amount with interest will be refunded to the family of girl child or it will be kept in the account till maturity without the need of fresh contribution.
In case of death of girl child, the account will be closed immediately and balance with interest will be refundable to the guardian/nominee declared while opening the account.
Is this facility of opening account for NRI also?
There is no scope for NRIs (Non Resident Indian) to open this account. But still official remarks are waiting on this.
——– Article written by N. KALYANI