Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the "Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana" a part of the "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao" campaign. Focus on gender equality and opportunities for the girl child are the main themes of the Yojana.
Where Can You Open The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account?
This account can be opened at post offices and commercial banks. Most of the commercial banks particularly the PSU banks will enable you to open this account.
While at the moment the list is not drawn and many government owned banks are still in the process of completing formalities to open the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account, you may visit any of the government banks for the purpose of opening the account. Some of these banks include:
1) State Bank of India
2) Bank of Baroda
3) Punjab National Bank
4) Bank of India
5) Canara Bank
6) UCO Bank
7) United Bank
8) Andhra Bank
9) Allahabad bank
10) Indian Bank
11) Corporation Bank
12) Central bank of India
13) IDBI Bank
14) Dena Bank
You may also open the account at the post offices in the country.
Features of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account?
a) Who can open the account Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account?
The account can be opened in the name of the girl child who is 10 years or below. The girl child above this age is not eligible. Parents or guardians can open the account on behalf of the girl child.
b) What Are the documents that are needed to open Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account?
You would need the birth certificate of the child apart from the identity proof of the parent or guardian and their address proof.
c) Tax Benefits
Tax benefits are available under Sec 80C of the Income Tax Act. So, if you invest up to Rs 1.5 lakh each year, you would qualify for a tax rebate. Interest earned from the investment is tax free as per Union Budget 2015-16 delivered by Finance Minister.
d) Early Withdrawal
Early withdrawal is allowed for marriage of the child or higher education It's important to note that only 50 per cent of the amount is allowed to be withdrawn early.
e) Is the account transferable?
You can move the account from banks to banks and post office to post office anywhere in the country.
f) Are NRIs allowed to invest in the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account?
It's not clear as yet. However, NRIs are not allowed to invest in post office schemes and the chances are bright that they may not be allowed to invest in this scheme as well.
One needs to wait for further clarification on the details.
g) Interest rate
You would earn an interest rate of 8.5 per cent per annum on the scheme
The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account is a decent scheme that offers tax benefit and a good interest rate. It is not a bad idea to invest in the scheme if you have a girl child.
It gives you a great opportunity for long term investment.