Launch of Small Savings Instrument for Girl Child Sukanya Samriddhi Account

Government provides a basket of savings instruments which offers safety and security of investment and attractive return to the investors. These savings instruments of the Government, known as National Savings Schemes, have been very popular among the masses because of easy accessibility, attractive returns and complete safety.

Hon’ble Finance Minister in para 31 of Union budget speech has announced that “My Government attaches utmost importance to the welfare of the girl child”. A special small savings instrument to cater to the requirements of education and marriage of the girl child will be introduced”. To fulfill commitment made in the budget speech ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Account has been introduced. The scheme targets elimination of social malpractices leading to the gender discrimination responsible for low female sex ratio in the country. The scheme provides an opportunity and invites the parents to have a special account in the name of the girl child in the family and spare some money out of their savings to be deposited in that account. The scheme, therefore, primarily ensures equitable share to the girl child in the resources and savings of the family in which she is generally discriminated as against a male child.

Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened in the name of a girl child any time from her birth till she attains the age of 10 years with a minimum deposit of ₹ 1000 and thereafter any amount in multiple of ₹ 100 can be deposited. For one time, a girl child who has attained the age of 10 years prior to one year from the date of introduction of this scheme, is also eligible under the scheme. A maximum of ₹ 1,50,000 can be deposited in a financial year. The account can be opened in any post office or authorized branches of commercial banks across the country by producing birth certificate of the girl child.

The account holder girl child will be able to operate the account herself on attaining the age of 10 years. The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of opening of account or marriage of the girl child after attaining 18 years of age whichever is earlier. To meet the requirement of higher education expenses of the account holder girl child, partial withdrawal of 50 % of the balance would be allowed after the girl child has attained the age of 18 years. The provision of not allowing withdrawal from the account till the girl child attains the age of 18 years has been kept to prevent early age marriage of girls.

To motivate parents to open an account in the name of girl child and for her welfare to deposit maximum of their savings upto the prescribed limits, higher rate of interest @ 9.1 % is proposed to be given on the deposits on annually compounded basis with income tax concessions in this financial year.

Collections received under National Savings Schemes provide resources to finance developmental plans of Centre and State Governments. Therefore, the money deposited in these accounts will further be available to the Government, to finance infrastructure development and contribute in increasing savings rate in the country.

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