Sukanya Samridhi Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 as a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. This Yojana offers a small deposit investment for the girl children. The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education and marriage expenses for their female child. This is a national initiative jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Ministry of Human Resource Development. BBBP aims at achieving the following:
- To stop gender discrimination of children and abolish the practice of sex determination.
- To ensure the survival and protection of girls.
- III. To ensure higher participation of girls in education and other areas.
the scheme currently provides an interest rate of 8.1% (for October 2017 to December 2017 ) and tax benefits. The account can be opened at any India Post office or branch of authorized commercial banks. Any legal guardian or parents of a girl child can open SSY Account under this scheme anytime at the time of birth of the child until she attains an age of ten years. As a matter of exception, any girl who attained an age of ten years within one year prior to the announcement of this scheme would also be entitled to get this account opened under her name.
Documents required to open the Account:
- Birth certificate of the girl child
- Identity and residential proof of the guardian
- Medical certificate for proof of birth of multiple girl children on a single order of birth
- Any other documents as required by post office or banks
Deposit threshold and tenure:
- Minimum of Rs 250 (this amount was previously Rs 1,000) and maximum of Rs 1,50,000 in every financial year, up to 15 years
- Multiples of Rs 100, subject to the above cap
Interest on deposits:
- The current interest rate is 8.1%
- Entire deposit in ‘Account under default’ (where a minimum amount of Rs 250 has not been deposited) which is not regularised within prescribed time would earn interest on the post savings bank account, except if the default is due to the death of the guardian who opened the Account
- No interest is payable after the completion of tenure of SS, i.e after 21 years from account opening
- No interest accrues after the girl child becomes non-citizen or non-resident
Rules pertaining to the closure of SSA:
Closure on maturity
- Account matures after completion of tenure of 21 years and balance in SSA including interest is paid to the child on submitting an application and proof of identity, residence, and citizenship documents
Premature Closure Allowed only in the following situations:
- Reasons of intended marriage after a girl child attains the age of 18 years makes an application between one month prior to marriage and 3 months after marriage along with her age proof documents
- Death of girl child on the production of the death certificate and balance in the SSA will be paid to the guardian
- Deemed closure in case of a change in the status of girl child i.e., girl child either becomes non-resident or non-citizen of India. Such status change shall be communicated by a girl child or guardian within one month of status change
- After completion of 5 years from the opening of SSA, if post office or Bank is satisfied that operation or continuation of SSA is causing undue hardship to the girl child (such as the death of the guardian, medical reasons of girl child), the girl child or guardian may order for premature closure
- For any other reasons, if SSA is to be closed anytime after the opening of SSA, it will be permitted, but the entire deposit would earn interest rate applicable to post office savings bank
- Withdrawal is allowed for higher education purpose if girl child has either attained 18 years or completed 10th standard for meeting actual fee or other charges required at the time of admission
- Documentary proof by way of a confirmed offer of admission in an educational institution or fee slip shall accompany the application for withdrawal
- Withdrawal has a maximum cap of 50% of the balance in SSA at the end of preceding financial year and can be made in either one lump sum or in 5 instalments not exceeding one instalment per year.
Tax benefits provided to SSY:
At the time of launch, only the deposits in the account were eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, which is ₹150,000 in 2015-16. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced, during the 2015 Union Budget, tax exemption on the interest from the account and on withdrawal from the fund after maturity, making the tax benefits similar to that of the Public Provident Fund. These changes were applied retrospectively from 1 April 2015. These benefits will be reassessed annually.