The Central Government initially launched the ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Account’ programme in January 2015 with an objective to promote the welfare of girl child. After that the Government has further notified new Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, 2019 w.e.f. 12th December, 2019 vide notification No. G.S.R. 914(E). It is a small deposit scheme for girl child which ensures their secure future and reduce their financial difficulties which they might have in future for their education or even for their marriage. It was also a plan which was toward the mission of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ which was also launched on the same day. So, Let’s understand some details regarding it in very simple language:
The account may be opened by the natural or legal guardian in the name of a girl child from the birth of the girl child till she attains the age of 10 years. The Application for opening of account is in Form-1
A Depositor (such guardian) may open only one account in the name of a girl child under these rules. Birth Certificate of such girl child AND Identity and residence proof of the depositor shall be submitted. Such guardian shall be allowed to open the account for two girl children only (except in cases when twin/three girl child is born together). It can be opened with Post-Offices and Notified banks as well.
The account may be opened with an initial deposit of Rs.250 and thereafter any amount in multiple of Fifty rupees may be deposited but the total amount deposited during the entire year shall not be less than Rs.250 and shall not exceeds Rs. 1,50,000 as well. The deposit in the account may be made through Cash, Cheque, or Demand Drafts.
Deposits can be made up to a maximum period of 15 years from the date of opening the account. After this period the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.
Deposits in the account shall earn interest at the rate 8.4% per annum.
The interest shall be calculated for the calendar month on the lowest balance in the account between the close of the fifth day and the end of the month. The interest shall be credited to the account at the end of each financial year and any amount of interest in fraction of a rupee shall be rounded off to the nearest rupee and for this purpose any amount of fifty paisa or more shall be treated as one rupee and any amount less than fifty paisa shall be ignored.
For the higher education and marriage of such girl child, withdrawal up to 50% of the account balance at the end of preceding financial year shall be allowed. But, the withdrawal shall be allowed only when the account holder girl child attains the age of 18 years or has passed tenth standard. The application for withdrawal will be made in Form No 3
In the event of Death of the account holder (i.e. the girl child), the account shall be closed immediately on the production of the Death Certificate and the balance remaining in the account shall be paid to the guardian with interest. Apart from this, Where the Central Govt. is satisfied that operation or continuation of the account is causing undue hardship to the account holder, the govt. may allow pre-mature closure of the account only in the case of extreme compassionate grounds such as medical support in life-threatening diseases, death etc. The application for premature closure will be made in Form No 2.
The account shall mature on when the Girl child completes her 21 years but if her marriage takes place before being 21 years then it shall be deemed as mature. But the girl child has to furnish a declaration that she is not less than 18 years on the date of Closing the account. The application for closure will be made in Form No 4
Please note that no such closure shall be allowed before one month from the date of the intended marriage or after three months from the date of marriage.
The deposits made to the account, and also the proceeds and maturity amount are fully exempt from tax under section 80C of Income Tax Act. It is similar to PPF in respect of Tax Deductions.
(Compiled by Taxguru Team)
(Republished with Amendments)