Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a small savings scheme exclusively for the girl child. Under the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme, a parent or legal guardian can open an account in the name of the girl child until she attains the age of ten years. The Sukanya Samriddhi account can be opened in post offices and some designated banks. Apart from income tax benefits, the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme fetches a higher interest rate compared with other small savings schemes. Here are 10 things to know about the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana/Sukanya Samriddhi account:
1) Who can open Sukanya Samriddhi account
Only one account can be opened in the name of one girl child. Also, one guardian can open a maximum of two accounts. A Sukanya Samriddhi account can be opened up to age of 10 years from the date of birth of the girl child.
2) Interest rate offered in Sukanya Samriddhi account
The interest is notified from time to time by the Finance Ministry and is currently reset in every quarter. The current rate of interest applicable for the September-December quarter is 8.3 per cent. calculated on a yearly basis.
3) Minimum deposit in Sukanya Samriddhi account
A minimum deposit of Rs 1,000 is required every year.
4) Maximum Deposit in Sukanya Samriddhi account
The maximum amount that can be deposited in a year is Rs 1.5 lakh per Sukanya Samriddhi account. There is no limit to the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.
5) Sukanya Samriddhi account reactivation
The Sukanya Samriddhi account will turn inactive in case the requirement of the minimum annual deposit of Rs 1,000 is not met. However, such an account can be reactivated against payment of a penalty. The account can be reactivated by paying a penalty of Rs 50 per year along with the minimum amount required for deposit for that year.
6) Loan facility
No loan facility is available against the Sukanya Samriddhi account.
7) Sukanya Samriddhi account maturity
The Sukanya Samriddhi account will be valid for 21 years from the date of opening. Once the Sukanya Samriddhi account matures, the money will be paid to the girl child. If the account is not closed after maturity, the balance amount will continue to earn interest as specified for the scheme from time to time. The account will also automatically close if the girl child gets married before the completion of the tenure of 21 years.
8) Sukanya Samriddhi account deposit period
Deposits can be made up to 14 years from the date of opening of the account. After this period, the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.
9) Premature withdrawal from Sukanya Samriddhi account
A premature withdrawal can be made after the girl child attains the age of 18 years. This withdrawal will also be limited to 50 per cent of the balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year.
10) Sukanya Samriddhi scheme income tax benefit
The deposits made to the account as well as the proceeds and maturity amount are fully exempted from income tax. The annual deposit of up to Rs 1.5 lakh qualifies for tax benefit under Section 80C.