Govt slashes minimum deposit in Sukanya Samriddhi scheme to Rs250 a year

The minimum annual deposit under the government-backed Sukanya Samriddhi small savings scheme for the girl child has been reduced to Rs250 annually from Rs1,000 a year earlier, in a move to increase its coverage, says a report in the news agency PTI.

The maximum yearly deposit, however, stands unchanged at Rs1,50,000. Under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, a parent or legal guardian can open the account in the name of the girl child until she attains the age of 10 years.
The change in minimum deposit is intended to attract the rural poor who want to secure the future of their daughters but have limited funds and thereby foster financial inclusion.
The interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana has been fixed at 8.1 per cent per annum for the September quarter. The interest on Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is calculated on a yearly basis and is compounded annually.
There were an estimated 12.6 million Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana deposits, with a total of Rs19,183 crore in bank and postal accounts across the country as of end-November 2017, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had said while presenting the Union Budget.
The State Bank of India (SBI), State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, Vijaya Bank, United Bank of India, Union Bank of India, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Dena Bank, Corporation Bank, Central Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank have been authorised to operate Sukanya Samriddhi deposits, according to a government notification.
Sukanya Samriddhi accounts can also be opened in any post office branch across the country.
Deposits under the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme and proceeds thereon are tax exempt under section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
Sukanya Samriddhi account is valid for 21 years from the date of opening, after which it will mature and the money will be paid to the girl child in whose name the account had been opened.  If the account is not closed after maturity, the balance amount will continue to earn interest as specified for the scheme from time to time.
Sukanya Samriddhi account will also automatically close if the girl child gets married before the completion of the tenure of 21 years.
Deposits can be made up to 14 years from the date of opening of the account. After this period the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.
Withdrawing money before the completion of the maturity period of 21 years can only be made by the girl child in whose name the account has been opened after she attains the age of 18 years. This withdrawal will also be limited to 50 per cent of the balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year, and will only be allowed for the purpose of higher education or if the girl intends to get married. In order to make a withdrawal, the account should have a deposit of at least 14 years or more.