Centre proposes permitting premature closure of PPF account

The legislative changes proposed in the Finance Bill 2018 are aimed at adding flexibility in operation of the account under Small Savings Schemes (SSS), it said.

PTI
New Delhi, Publish Date: Feb 14 2018 12:34AM | Updated Date: Feb 14 2018 12:34AM
Centre proposes permitting premature closure of PPF accountRepresentational Pic

The government proposes to allow premature closure of Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts and permit opening of small savings accounts in the name of minor, the finance ministry said today.

The legislative changes proposed in the Finance Bill 2018 are aimed at adding flexibility in operation of the account under Small Savings Schemes (SSS), it said.

Dismissing concerns expressed in the certain section of media, the ministry said that all existing protections have been retained while consolidating PPF Act under the proposed Government Savings Promotion Act.

"No existing benefits to depositors are proposed to be taken away through this process," it said, adding that the proposal is to merge Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873.

It further said that apart from ensuring existing benefits, certain new benefits to the depositors have been proposed under the bill.

"The main objective in proposing a common Act is to make implementation easier for the depositors as they need not go through different rules and Acts for understanding the provision of various SSS, and also to introduce certain flexibilities for the investors," it said.

In order to remove existing ambiguities due to multiple Acts and rules for SSS and further strengthen the objective of "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance", the government has proposed merger of the two laws with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873, the ministry said.

Benefits of premature closure of Small Savings Schemes would be introduced to deal with medical emergencies, and higher education needs among others, it said.

"Another benefit, investment in Small Savings Schemes can be made by Guardian on behalf of minor(s) under the provisions made in proposed bill," the release said.

Apart from ensuring existing benefits, certain "new benefits" to the depositors have been proposed under the bill.

Bill also proposes permitting depositor to close PPF account before five years in exigencies.

"To make provisions for premature closure easier in respect of all schemes, provisions could now be made through specific scheme notification," the ministry said.