New Delhi: The government has slashed the minimum annual deposit for the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to Rs 250 from Rs 1,000.
However, the maximum yearly deposit stands unchanged at Rs 1,50,000. 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. There is no limit on the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.
The account can be opened in any post office branch and designated public sector banks.
The government amended the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules – 2016 to the minimum initial deposit of Rs 250 to open the account that will enable more number of people to take advantage of the girl child savings scheme.
Sukanya Samriddhi scheme was launched in 2015. Till November 2017, more than 1.26 crore accounts were opened across the country securing an amount of Rs 19,183 crore.
The account opened under the scheme will be 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 is 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.
The banks that have been authorized to open accounts under the scheme are: 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, according to a government notification.