Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is one of the most popular long-term investment instruments. The scheme meant for girl children has undergone some changes recently. In a notification dated December 12, 2019, the finance ministry repealed the existing scheme rules and replaced them with some new ones.
The Sukanya Samriddhi account is designed to provide a bright future for the girl child. It offers a high-interest rate of 8.4% and tax benefits under 80C of the Income Tax Act.
The account can be opened by the natural or legal guardian for a girl child of age below 10 years.
A depositor can open and operate only one account in the name of a girl child under the scheme rules.
Natural or legal guardian of a girl child are allowed to open the account for two girl children only.
- Attractive interest rate of 8.4%, that is fully exempt from tax under section 80C.
- Minimum Rs 1,000 can be invested in one financial year
- Maximum investment of Rs 1,50,000 can be made in one financial year
- If the minimum amount of Rs 1,000 is not deposited in any financial year, a penalty of Rs 50 will be charged
- Deposits in an account can be made till completion of 14 years, from the date of opening of the account
- The account shall mature on completion of 21 years from the date of opening of the account, provided that where the marriage of the account holder takes place before completion of such period of 21 years, the operation of the account shall not be permitted beyond the date of her marriage.
To meet the financial requirements of the account holder for the purpose of higher education and marriage, an account holder can avail partial withdrawal facility after attaining 18 years of age. If the beneficiary is married before the maturity of account, the account has to be closed.
Here are five changes that have been made to the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Scheme:
1. Higher interest rate for default accounts: If a subscriber does not deposit even the minimum amount (Rs 250) in a financial year in the SSY account, it will be considered as an account in default. According to the new rules, such ‘default accounts’ will earn the interest rate applicable to the scheme, till the maturity date of the account, if not regularised till then.
2. Premature closure of account: According to the new scheme rules, the premature closure of a Sukanya Samriddhi account is allowed in case of death of the girl child or on compassionate grounds which would include situations such as medical treatment of the account holder for life-threatening diseases or death of the guardian. Old rules allowed the premature closure of account due to change in residency status of the girl child as well. However, new rules have not specified whether the account will be allowed to be prematurely closed or have to be continued till maturity…Read more>>