India’s sex ratio scenario has gradually improved over the years and is now reported at 943 females per 1,000 males. Several initiatives taken in this regard have been helpful in improving the grim situation of the girl child and her empowerment in India. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is one among such initiatives that are bringing steady changes by providing parents a financial support helping them raise their daughters well.
On National Girl Child Day, The Banking & Finance Post brings to you an exclusive analysis of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, its benefits and progress so far.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a small deposit scheme launched for the empowerment of the girl child by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 as a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. The scheme is meant to meet the education and marriage expenses of a girl child.
The scheme currently (2016-2017) offers an interest rate of 9.1 per cent and it also provides income-tax benefits.
According to Ministry of Finance, more than 14 lakh accounts have been opened under the scheme as on 31.10.2017.
India’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India (SBI) alone has opened over 10 lakh accounts under SSY. While Bank of India opened more than 84,000 accounts and Punjab National Bank opened over 80,000 accounts under the scheme.
As per the norms, the natural or the legal guarding of the girl child can open the account under the scheme on behalf of the girl child.
The account can be opened with an initial deposit of Rs 1,000.It can be opened either in authorised banks or Post Offices, across the country. Withdrawals from the accounts can only be permissible for higher education purpose of the girl child and the account shall mature 21 years from the date of opening it.
It can be opened prematurely for the reasons intended for the marriage of the account holder.