In a society that values gender equality and the empowerment of women, it is crucial to provide financial avenues that support the growth and development of the girl child. In line with this vision, the Government of India launched the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) in 2015, a small savings scheme aimed at securing the future of the girl child. This article explores the key features, benefits, and impact of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
Understanding Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a long-term investment scheme introduced under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. It seeks to promote the welfare of the girl child by facilitating financial savings and creating a fund for her higher education, marriage, or other future expenses. The scheme is available to parents or legal guardians of a girl child below the age of 10 years.
Account Opening and Eligibility:
Parents or legal guardians can open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account in the name of a girl child who is under ten years of age. A maximum of two accounts can be opened for two different girl children in a family. The account can be opened at any post office or authorized banks across India. The minimum deposit required to open an account is Rs. 250, with subsequent deposits in multiples of Rs. 100. The account can be operated until the girl child reaches the age of 21.
Key Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
Account Opening: To open an SSY account, parents or guardians must visit a designated bank or post office. They need to provide essential documents such as the birth certificate of the girl child, proof of identity and address of the parent/guardian, and a passport-sized photograph.
Deposit and Tenure: The minimum initial deposit is set at Rs. 250, and subsequent deposits can be made in multiples of Rs. 100. The maximum annual deposit limit is Rs. 1.5 lakh. The account matures after 21 years from the date of opening or when the girl child gets married, whichever is earlier.
Attractive Interest Rates: The interest rate for the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is determined by the government and is subject to periodic revisions. The scheme provides a higher interest rate compared to other fixed-income instruments.
Tax Benefits: Contributions to the Sukanya Samriddhi account are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Furthermore, interest earned and maturity proceeds are tax-free.
Partial Withdrawal and Premature Closure: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana allows partial withdrawals up to 50% of the balance after the girl child reaches the age of 18. The account can also be prematurely closed if necessary, subject to specific conditions.
Benefits and Impact
Financial Security: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana ensures a secure financial future for the girl child. The scheme encourages long-term savings, which can be utilized for higher education expenses, marriage, or any other aspirations she may have.
Empowering Parents: The scheme helps parents in building a corpus of funds exclusively for the girl child. It relieves them of the burden of arranging substantial amounts of money at crucial stages of her life.
Promoting Education: By providing dedicated funds for higher education, the scheme encourages parents to invest in their daughter’s education. This not only empowers the girl child but also contributes to the overall progress of society.
Changing Mindsets: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana plays a crucial role in changing societal mindsets by highlighting the value and importance of the girl child. It promotes gender equality, education, and financial independence, breaking down traditional barriers.
Educational and Career Opportunities: The financial resources generated through the scheme can enable a girl child to pursue higher education, thus expanding her career prospects and fostering independence.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a remarkable initiative by the Government of India to secure the future of the girl child. By offering attractive interest rates, tax benefits, and flexibility in withdrawals, the scheme promotes financial stability and empowerment. As more people become aware of its benefits, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana has the potential to create a positive and transformative impact on society by nurturing the dreams and aspirations of the girl child.