Indian Government has recently launched a scheme for the benefit of girl child. It has been named Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme, meaning prosperity for the girl child. This is part of the campaign being run by the Govt. supporting the raising of girl child. It is a simple savings scheme which allows you to create wealth for the future of your girl child. Here are five questions about this scheme which have been answered:
1) Who can invest in it?
A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened as well as operated by a girl child who has attained the age of 10 years or by the guardian of the child on her behalf. Such guardian can be open and operate up to maximum of two accounts.
2) How much can be invested?
Minimum amount to be invested in this scheme is Rs. 1000 and maximum amount is Rs. 1,50,000 p.a. If the minimum amount is not deposited, there will be a penalty of Rs. 50.
3) Where can we open the account?
It can be opened in any nearby post office branch or authorized branches of commercial banks. Process of opening is similar to any post office savings scheme.
4) How much interest rate is being offered?
Rate of interest offered under this scheme is 9.1% p.a. Calculation of interest is similar to Public Provident Scheme (PPF). The rate of interest could change based on change in rate in Govt. securities.
5) What’s the tenure?
The tenure of the scheme is 21 years from the date of opening of the account or the date of marriage of the girl, whichever is earlier. However, deposits in the scheme are allowed up to 14 years.
6) Are there any tax benefits?
Yes, the amount deposited under this scheme is eligible for tax deduction up to Rs. 1,50,000 under Section 80C. Like PPF, the interest earned under this scheme is fully tax exempt.
7) Are premature withdrawals allowed?
Premature withdrawal is allowed up to 50% of the balance at the end of preceding financial year. This is allowed only if the girl child has attained at least 18 years of age.