Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana was launched By Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, 2015 as a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. The purpose is to encourage parents to generate an investment pool for the future education and marriage expenses for their girl child. The scheme received a good acceptance in wake of the financial security and independence it would provide to the girl child as well as their parents and guardians.
The Scheme is being governed by Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2014. The Government of India has made certain changes in the rules by notifying the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2016 vide notification no. G.S.R.323(E) dated 18.03.2016.
The most important changes relevant to a layman are mentioned below:
- The duration for which deposits are to be made has been increased from 14 years to 15 Years
- The account can now be opened for adopted girl child.
- It is advised to deposit the amount on or before 10th of the month to earn interest for the entire month of deposit. Any amount deposited after 10th will not earn interest for that month
- In the event of the change in citizenship or residential status, same has to be intimated within a period of one month from the date of such status. Further, the account shall be treated as closed prematurely from that date and no interest shall be earned.
- You can now get duplicate passbook issued in the event of loss, mutilation, etc., of the original passbook, by giving a written request and on payment of a fee of fifty rupees.
- In case you move your residence, the account can be transferred from or to post offices and from or to Banks and between post office and Bank, free of cost on furnishing of proof of shifting of residence
- Earlier 50% of the amount could be withdrawn by account holder on attaining the age of 18 years for higher education and marriage. Now you can withdraw up to 50%money for higher education only while continuing the account and that to after attaining age of 18 years or passing 10th std whichever is earlier. The option to withdraw money for marriage is available but that is associated with closure of account before completion of 21 years from date of opening of account.
- No interest for post maturity period till the final closure of account.
You can refer the detailed changes summarized in the Appendix I at the end.
Another important change to the scheme has been made that is, the Interest Rate on the Scheme been revised downwards from 01.04.2016 to 8.60 from earlier 9.20% per annum vide notification No. G. S. R. 352(E) Dated 29/03/2016
For any query please drop in your comments.
The substantial changes are presented here in the tabular form to facilitate an easy grasp of the amendments:
|Topic||Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2016|
|Amendments In definitions :
a) Definition of “Account Holder”
b) Definition of “Bank”
c) Definition of “beneficiary”
d) Definition of “deposit”
e) Definition of “ Depositor”
g) Definition of “guardian”
h) Definition of “ Government”
i) Definition of “ Maturity”
Interest on deposits
Premature closure of account
Transfer of Account
Closure on maturity
The revised rules have now included the definition of the Account holder which was not there in the previous rules. It has been defined as “a person in whose name the Account is held.”
The definition has been amended to clarify that the any branch of a public sector or private sector commercial bank authorized by the Government to open an Account under these rules
Prima facie it appeared that the girl child is the beneficiary, but the revised rules has included the definition of beneficiary as follows to clarify the scope:
“Beneficiary” means an eligible girl child who is :
a) a resident Indian citizen at the time of opening of the account and
b) who remains so till the maturity or closure of the Account;
The revised rules have removed the restriction in earlier definition and have now included money deposited by guardian also and not only account holder.
The same has been omitted
The definition has been incorporated in the revised rules to imply that now account can be opened for adopted girl child as well.
The definition has been incorporated in the revised rules to include adopting parents of the adopted children as well.
The definition has been incorporated in the revised rules to imply that only Central Government can make amendments in the scheme.
The definition has been incorporated in the revised rules as “maturity of an Account on completion of a period of twenty-one years from the date of its opening”
The pre amendment rules specified that the account could be opened only for two girl children in the family except in a case of twins or triplets, wherein this facility would be extended to the third child which means you can even open three accounts in case you are blessed with twin girls on the second occasion or in case the first birth itself results into three girl children.
The revised rules has clarified that in event of two or more surviving girl children resulting from first order of birth, the provision of account opening is not available for second order births, be it single or multiple.
a) The duration for which deposits are to be made has been increased from 14 years to 15 Years
b) The maximum deposit in a year has been capped at INR 150,000. The new rules provide that in event of acceptance of the deposit in excess of the cap due to any accounting error, no interest will be earned on the excess. Also the excess amount will be withdrawable anytime.
c) The minimum amount to be deposited in a financial year has been fixed at INR 1,000, the non-payment of which can be regularized by payment of penalty and specified amount. The new rules provide that if regularization is not done till the 15 years from opening of account, the whole deposit, including the deposits made prior to the date of default, shall be eligible only for interest rate prescribed for Post Office Savings Bank at the time of its maturity and any amount credited wrongly by way of interest into an Account under default shall be reverted to the Government account as soon as it comes to the notice of the Bank or the post office concerned. The exemption is available if the default occurred because of the death of the guardian of the Account holder who opened the account
d) The ambit of mode of deposit has been extended to electronic means (e-transfer) in the concerned post office or Bank if such post office or bank has access to the facility of CBS.
a) The option of monthly interest payout has been withdrawn
b) No interest payable on amount deposited after 10th of the Month for the month of Deposit.
a) The amended rule provides that the guardian or the account holder shall intimate post office or the Bank concerned about the change in citizenship or residential status within a period of one month from the date of such status.
Further in the event of change, no interest shall be deemed to accrue to the Account from the change of such status and the Account shall be deemed to be closed prematurely from that date.
b) Pre-Mature withdrawal in extreme compassionate grounds as specified is now permitted only after 5 Years of Opening of account.
c) Premature closure of an Account is now permitted any time after the opening of an Account, for any reason other than extreme compassionate grounds, and in which case the whole deposit shall be eligible only for the interest rate prescribed for the Post Office Savings Bank. Power to allow pre-mature withdrawal is been delegated to Bank and Post office while earlier such power was with Central Government.
The amended rule has provided for issue of duplicate issued in the event of loss, mutilation, etc., of the original passbook, on the written request of the guardian or the Account holder, on payment of a fee of fifty rupees.
The amended rule provided for transfer of account from or to post offices and from or to Banks and between post office and Bank, free of cost on furnishing of proof of shifting of residence
Earlier 50% of the amount could be withdrawn by account holder on attaining the age of 18 years for higher education and marriage
The amended rule has restricted the withdrawal to the purposes of higher education only and that to after attaining age of 18 years or passing 10th std whichever is earlier.
The application for withdrawal shall be accompanied by a documentary proof in the form of a confirmed offer of admission of the Account holder in an educational institution or a fee-slip from such institution clarifying such financial requirement. The withdrawal may be made as one lump sum or in instalments, not exceeding one per year, for a maximum of five years. The withdrawal amount shall be restricted to the actual demand of fee and other charges required at the time of admission as shown in the offer of admission or the relevant fee-slip issued by the educational institution.
a) Earlier the maturity amount was payable on production of withdrawal slip along with the pass book. The amended rule now provides for the furnishing of documentary proof of her identity, residence and citizenship.
b) The amended rule provides that the account holder shall not earn any interest on post maturity period till the final closure of account.
c) Earlier premature withdrawal was possible once marriage takes place but now withdrawal is possible even if Depositor is intending to get married. Age proof has been substituted to affidavit.
d) The amended rule has specified the period within which the withdrawal should be made in case of marriage.