What is the scheme?
What are the rules for opening Sukanya Samriddhi Account?
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a small deposit scheme for the girl child launched as a part of the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign.
- It is currently (2016-17) fetching an interest rate of 9.1 per cent and provides income-tax rebate.
- A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, with a minimum deposit of Rs 1,000.
- The account can be opened in any post office or authorised branches of commercial banks.
- The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of its opening or till the marriage of the girl after she turns 18. To meet the requirement of her higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of 50 per cent of the balance is allowed after she turns 18.
How much can be deposited in the account?
- The account can be opened by the natural or legal guardian in the name of the girl from her birth till she turns 10.
- A depositor may open and operate only one account in the name of the girl child under these rules.
- The birth certificate of the girl in whose name the account is opened should be submitted by the guardian at the time of the opening of the account in the post office or bank, along with other documents relating to identity and residence proof of the depositor.
What is the mode of deposit?
- The account can be opened with an initial deposit of Rs 1,000 and thereafter, any amount in multiple of Rs 100 can be deposited, subject to the condition that a minimum of Rs 1,000 will be deposited in a financial year, but the total money deposited in an account on a single occasion or on multiple occasions will not exceed Rs 1,50,000 in a financial year.
How is the interest rate on deposits calculated?
- The deposit in the account can be made in cash or by cheque or demand.
- Deposits may also be made through electronic means (e-transfers).
The government fixes interest rates on quarterly basis based on the G-sec yields.
How does the account operate?
The account is opened and operated by the natural or legal guardian of the girl child in her name till she turns 10. When she turns 10, the girl child can operate the account herself. However, deposit in the account may be made by the guardian or any other person or authority.
Under what circumstances can the account be closed prematurely?
What are the rules for partial withdrawal?
- In the event of death of the account holder, the account will be closed immediately on the production of a death certificate issued by the competent authority, and the balance in the account will be paid, along with the interest till the month preceding the month of the premature closure of the account, to the guardian of the account holder.
- In any other case, a request for the premature closure of an SSY account can be put forward after the completion of five years of the account opening. This too will be allowed, as per the rules, on extreme compassionate grounds such as medical support in life-threatening diseases.
To meet the financial requirements of the account holder for the purpose of higher education and marriage, withdrawal of up to 50 per cent of the balance at the credit of the account at the end of preceding financial year is allowed. However, the withdrawal will be allowed only when the account holder turns 18.
When will the account mature?
The account matures on the completion of 21 years from the date of opening or whenever the girl child gets married, whichever is earlier, subject to the following:
Can the account be opened in the name of an NRI girl child?
- It is also provided that where the marriage of the account holder takes place before the completion of such period of 21 years, the operation of the account will not be permitted beyond the date of her marriage.
- If the account is closed before the completion of 21 years, the account holder will have to give an affidavit to the effect that she is not below 18 as on the date of closing of account.
A girl child is eligible for an SSY account only if she is a resident Indian citizen when the account is opened, and remains so until the maturity or the closure of account.
Non-resident Indians can no
longer open an SSY account
What are the tax benefits available in the scheme?
Currently, SSY offers the highest tax-free return with sovereign guarantee and comes with the exempt-exempt-exempt (EEE) status. The annual deposit (contributions) qualifies for Section 80C benefit and the maturity benefits are non-taxable.