The government recently amended the rules for Sukanya Samriddhi account to lower the amount required for opening the popular girl child savings scheme. The government also amended the rule for minimum annual deposit requirement for Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana accounts. The scheme was launched in January 2015 to encourage savings for a girl child’s education. Till November, 2017 more than 1.26 crore accounts have been opened across the country in the name of girl child, securing an amount of ₹ 19,183 crore.
Here are 10 things to know about Sukanya Samriddhi account:
1) Under the new rules, known as Sukanya Samriddhi Account (Amendment) Rules, 2018, the minimum amount required for opening a Sukanya Samriddhi account has been brought down to ₹ 250, from ₹ 1,000 earlier.
2) The minimum annual deposit requirement, or the minimum amount required to be deposited in Sukanya Samriddhi account every year, has also been lowered to ₹ 250, from ₹ 1,000 earlier. These new rules came into effect from July 6, 2018.
3) The interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi account is revised every quarter, like other small savings instrument such as public provident fund (PPF), and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS). Currently, Sukanya Samriddhi account fetches an interest of 8.1% per annum, compounded yearly.
4) Apart from higher interest rate as compared to other small savings instruments such as PPF, tax exemption is also one of the greatest advantages of the Sukanya Samriddhi account.
5) Contribution in to Sukanya Samriddhi account up to ₹ 1.50 lakh in a financial year qualifies for income tax deduction under Section 80C of Income Tax Act. The entire interest earned and maturity amount is also non-taxable. The maximum amount that can be deposited in a Sukanya Samriddhi account is ₹ 1.5 lakh in a financial year.
6) Deposits in a Sukanya Samriddhi account may be made till the completion of 15 years, from the date of opening of the account. For example, if an account was opened on 13 May, 2016, deposits can be made up to 12 May, 2031. After this period the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.
7) Sukanya Samriddhi account will mature on completion of 21 years from the date of opening of account.
8) A Sukanya Samriddhi account can be opened up to age of 10 years only from the date of birth of the girl child. A guardian can open only one Sukanya Samriddhi account in the name of one girl child and maximum two accounts in the name of two different girl children in post offices and designated banks.
9) Partial withdrawal will be allowed on the account holder attaining the age of 18 to meet educational or marriage expenses. Withdrawal will be limited to 50% of the balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year.
10) Normal premature closure will be allowed for the purpose of the account holder’s marriage, if she has attained the age of 18.