Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) along with ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ (BBB) will be officially launched on 22nd January 2015. These schemes will be introduced by our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sukanya Samriddhi Account/Yojana is a Small Savings Special deposit Scheme for girl child. This scheme is specially designed for girl’s higher education or marriage needs.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced this scheme in his budget speech in July. The gazette on this scheme was released on 2nd December, 2014. On 21st January, 2015 the finance ministry released a notification with respect to the applicable interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi Account.
Let us understand the features and benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Account Special Savings deposit scheme.
Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA):
1. Who can open the account? – Sukanya Samriddhi a/c (or Khata) can be opened on a girl child’s name by her natural (biological) parents or legal guardian.
2. What is the Age limit? – SSA can be opened in the name of a girl child from the birth of the girl child till she attains the age of ten years
3. How many accounts can be opened? – A depositor may open and operate only one account in the name of same girl child under this scheme. The depositor (or) guardian can open only two SSA accounts. There is one exception to this rule. The natural or legal guardian can open two or three accounts if twin girls are born as second birth or triplets are born in the first birth itself.
4. How to open an SSA account (Sukanya Savings Account opening procedure)? – Accounts in name of the girl child can be opened in post offices or in any branch of a commercial bank that is authorized by the Central Government to open an account under this scheme rules. You may visit any of the Post Office or government banks for the purpose of opening the account. (Some of these banks include – State Bank of India (SBI), SBH, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, Allahabad Bank, Corporation Bank etc.,)
5. What is the minimum deposit to open the account? – SSA Account may be opened with a minimum initial deposit of Rs. 250/- (two hundred and fifty rupees) and thereafter any amount in multiples of two hundred and fifty rupees may be deposited in an Account subject to the condition that a minimum of two hundred and fifty rupees shall be made as a deposit in a financial year in one Account. (Latest update: 5th July 2018)
6. What is the maximum deposit amount? – A minimum of one thousand rupees shall be deposited in a financial year but the total money deposited in an account on a single occasion or on multiple occasions shall not exceed Rs. 1.5 Lakh in a financial year.
Deposits/contributions in an account may be contributing to fourteen years from the date of opening of the account.
7. Is there any penalty? – If minimum (Rs. 1000 pa) amount is not deposited in a financial year, the account will be treated as an irregular account. This can be regularized/renewed on payment of Rs. 50 per year as a penalty. Along with this, the minimum specified subscription for the year (s) of default should be paid.
8. What is the mode of deposit? – The deposits in Sukanya Samriddhi scheme can be made in the form of Cash or Demand Draft or Cheque. Where a deposit is made by cheque or demand draft, the date of encashment of the cheque or demand draft shall be the date of credit to the account. The cheque or DD should be drawn in favour of the postmaster of the concerned post office or the Manager of the concerned bank. The depositor (parents or guardian) has to write the account holder’s name (child’s name) and the account number on the backside of the instrument.
9. What is the Rate of Interest on Sukanya Samriddhi Account? – The applicable rate of interest on SSA for the financial year 2014-2015 is 9.1%. This is one of the highest rates of interest offered by Government on small savings scheme. (Latest News (18-March-2016): The Govt. has cut the rate of interest of Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme. The interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) for last Quarter of Financial Year (FY) 2018-19 is 8.5%. For complete details on revised interest rates, click here..)
10. Is interest rate fixed or variable? – The rate of interest is not fixed and will be notified by the central government on a quarterly basis.
11. Is transfer facility available? – The account can be transferred anywhere in India if the girl shifts to a place other than the city or locality where the account stands.
12. Is premature withdrawal allowed? – 50 % (half of the fund) of the accumulated amount in SSA can be withdrawn for girl’s higher education and marriage after she attains 18 years of age. The account’s balance at the end of the preceding financial year is used for the calculation.
13. Can the girl child operate the account? On attaining the age of 18 years, the account holder that is the girl child may herself operate the account, however, deposit in the account may be made by the guardian or parents.
14. Is premature closure allowed? In the event of the death of the account holder, the account shall be closed immediately on the production of a death certificate. The balance at the credit of the account shall be paid along with interest till the month preceding the month of premature closure of the account, to the guardian of the account holder.
The scheme would mature on completion of 21 years from the date of opening of the account, with an option of keeping the account till marriage. So, the maturity of the account is 21 years from the date of opening of an account or if the girl gets married before completion of such 21 years (whichever is earlier).
Can the girl child continue the account after her marriage? – The operation of the account shall not be permitted beyond the date of the girl’s marriage.
What are the required documents to open Sukanya Samriddhi Account? – Birth certificate of the girl child has to be produced. The depositor (parents or guardian) has to submit his/her identity and address proofs.
Download Sukanya Samriddhi Account/Yojana (SSA/SSY) Application form. (This SSA application form that can be submitted at Post office. Download the file by clicking on the below image and go to ‘Form 1’ Post office Savings Bank page and you can take print out of the same)
On opening an account, the depositor shall be given a passbook. It will have a date of birth of the girl child, date of opening of the account, account number, name and address of the account holder and the initial amount deposited. The depositor has to present the passbook to the post office or bank at the time of depositing/receiving the interest/on maturity.
Income Tax Benefits on Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme – Section 80c
The amount that is deposited under Sukanya Samriddhi Account will be eligible for income tax exemption under Section 80C of Income Tax Act, 1961.At present, only the contribution of up to Rs 1.5 lakh toward Sukanya Samridhi Yojana is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C. The maturity amount (withdrawal amount) is exempted from income tax.