With an aim of providing higher eduction to the girl child, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched another small saving scheme namely “Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna” this January. It is after a straight success of EPF UAN and Prdhan mantri Jan dhan yojna. This scheme is launched under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign meant mainly for higher education or marriage needs of girls. Other few small saving schemes are PPF, NSC, Kisan Vikas Patra.
Main features of the Sukanya Samriddhi Account
The account, under this scheme, to be opened in the name of girl child by the parents or guardian before she attains the age of ten years. The account under this scheme may be opened with post office or authorized branch of banks like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Canara Bank, UCO Bank, Corporation Bank Allahabad Bank. Though it allows the parents to open account for only two children however it will be extended to third child as well in case of twins or triplets. Important to note that only one account is allowed per girl child however initially a grace period of one year has been given. So, a girl child born before Dec 01, 2004 can open an account till Dec 01, 2015.
Application Form and Documents Required
Birth certificate of the girl child along with address proof and Identity proof of the depositor. Further you may read the post office circular for details regarding scheme and print application form or Sukanya Samridhi account form.
List of Banks for Opening account
Here is the Public Sector Banks and Private Sector Banks authorised to open accounts under Sukanya Samriddhi account. List of these banks are as follows.
|State Bank of Travancore|
|State Bank of Hyderabad|
|State Bank of Mysore|
|Bank of Baroda|
|Bank of India|
|Punjab & Sind Bank|
|Bank of Maharashtra|
|Central Bank of India|
|Indian Overseas Bank|
|Punjab National Bank|
|Oriental Bank of Commerce|
|Union Bank of India|
|United Bank of India|
|Axis Bank Ltd|
|ICICI Bank Ltd|
|IDBI Bank Ltd|
Rate of Interest
The rate of interest will be declared by the government every year for this scheme.For current year i.e FY 2014-15, the interest component will be at 9.1% compounded yearly. In case an account holder opts for monthly interest, the calculations shall be done on completed thousands in the balance and the remaining amount in fraction of thousand will continue to earn interest at the prevailing rate.
Minimum and Maximum Deposit
The initial deposit to open account under this scheme is Rs 1,000 and thereafter any amount in multiple of Rs 1000. Also, the minimum and maximum limit for deposit in this account stand at Rs. 1000 and Rs. 1.5 lacs respectively for every financial year. Such amount may be deposited in this account for till completion of 14 years from the date of account opening. In case of failure to deposit the minimum amount, the penalty of Rs. 50 will be levied per financial year. Deposit can be made in cash, or by cheque or demand draft. You may also avail the tax advantage under this scheme under section 80C. Read more about Tax exemptions on Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme
The account will be opened and operated by the guardian till the girl child attains the age of 10 years. However, after she attains the age of 10 years, the girl child may herself operate the account. Once the account gets opened, the depositor will be issued a passbook with details like date of birth of the girl child, date of opening of account, account number, name and address along with the amount deposited.
The account may be transferred anywhere in India provided the girl child, in whose name the account is opened, gets shifted to other city or locality.
Maturity & Withdrawal
The account shall mature on completion of 21 years from the account opening date or the date of marriage of the girl child, whichever is earlier. However, as and when the girl child attains the age of 18, 50% of the amount may be withdrawn for her higher education. In the scenario where account is not closed even after maturity, the balance will continue to earn interest.
Premature Closure of Account
In the unlikely event of death of the account holder, the account shall be closed immediately. Death certificate of the account holder will be required for the same. As per the process, the credit balance shall be paid along with interest till previous month to the guardian.
In other cases, where the account is causing an undue hardship for the account holder, Central Government may order for premature closure however the reasons for the same is to be recorded in writing. Such could only be cases of extreme compassionate grounds like medical support in life? threatening diseases, death, etc.
On the whole the scheme looks attractive as compared to FDs specially with an interest rate of 9.1% however the lock in period of 21 years makes it a long term investment. The scheme is an active effort towards the solution of saving for girl child. The feature of withdrawal at the age of 18 years, reflects the equal importance of higher education for girl and marriage. The only drawback which I see is the exclusion of girls which are currently above the age of 10 years. As even 5-7 years, saving may have accumulated a significant amount for their higher education or marriage.
So with opening this account will make to save some amount every year for your princess.