In view of the coronavirus lockdown, the government has announced relaxation in the eligibility norms for the opening of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) accounts.
Sukanya Samriddhi account can also be opened for daughters who have completed 10 years of age in personal finance/lockdown, the government has given age relaxation. According to the latest directives from the postal department, Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened in the name of the girl child on or before July 31, 2020, who have already reached the age of 10 years during the period of lockdown starting from March 25, 2020, to June 30, 2020.
The popular girl child savings scheme account currently fetches an interest rate of 7.6 percent, the highest among small savings schemes.
Investments made towards the scheme can be used for the girl child’s marriage and education. An SSY account can be opened at banks and post offices. Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, tax benefits of up to Rs.1.5 lakh are provided for contributions made towards the scheme.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Interest Rate
Currently, the interest rate of the SSY scheme was reduced from 8.4% to 7.6% and it is compounded on a yearly basis. Interest is not payable once the duration of the scheme is completed or if the girl becomes a Non-resident Indian (NRI) or a non-citizen. The rate of interest is decided by the government and is determined on a quarterly basis.
The rate of interest that has been offered by the scheme is mentioned in the table below:
|Duration||Rate of interest (%)|
|April 2020 onwards||7.6|
|1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019||8.5|
|1 October 2018 – 31 December 2018||8.5|
|1 July 2018 – 30 September 2018||8.1|
|1 April 2018 – 30 June 2018||8.1|
|1 January 2018 – 31 March 2018||8.1|
|1 July 2017 – 31 December 2017||8.3|
|1 October 2016 – 31 December 2016||8.5|
|1 July 2016 – 30 September 2016||8.6|
|1 April 2016 – 30 June 2016||8.6|
|From 1 April 2015||9.2|
|From 1 April 2014||9.1|
What happens if a lesser or excess amount is paid towards sukanya samriddhi yojana scheme?
- Lesser amount: In case the minimum amount of Rs.500 is not paid in a financial year, the account will be considered as default. However, the account can be brought back to the active status by paying a fine of Rs.50.
- Excess amount: No interest is generated for any deposit above Rs.1.5 lakh. The depositor can withdraw the excess amount at any time.
How to open SSY account
The guardian has to fill up a Sukanya Samriddhi Account Form (SSA-1) available at the post office or designated bank. Name of the guardian, name of the child and birth certificate details, address, and KYC information of the guardian is required to be filled up in the form.
Copies of the following documents must be enclosed with the application:
- Birth certificate of the child.
- Address proof of guardian- passport, ration card, driving license, utility bill.
- Identity proof of the guardian – PAN, Aadhaar, or passport.
- Payment instrument with an initial contribution of at least Rs 250 or cash to that extent.
It is to be noted that to keep the account active, a minimum contribution of Rs 250 is mandatory in each financial year (and in multiples of Rs 100 thereafter). However, the maximum investment allowed per annum under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is Rs 1.5 lakh up to the end of the 15th year from the opening of the account.