PPF - Public Provident Fund :
The Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme, 1968 is a tax-free savings avenue that was introduced by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in India in the year 1968. Interest earned on deposits in the PPF account are not taxable. Deposits made towards PPF accounts can be claimed as tax deductions. This makes the PPF Scheme one of the most tax efficient instruments in India. It was launched to encourage savings among Indians in general, especially to encourage them to create a retirement corpus.
Public Provident Fund (PPF) Accounts :
People can deposit funds in PPF accounts (Public Provident Fund accounts) for a fixed period of time to earn returns on their savings. The PPF of interest rate for the financial year 2015 - 2016 was 8.7%. This rate has been revised in the Union Budget 2016 for FY: 2016 - 17 to 8.1%.
PPF accounts can be opened at any nationalised, authorised bank and authorised branches / post offices. PPF accounts can be opened at specific private banks as well. These accounts can be opened by filling out the required forms, submitting the relevant documents and depositing the minimum pay-in at such branches/offices that have been authorised for the same.
Eligibility - Who can open a PPF Account?
1) Only one PPF account can be opened per person. Resident Indians, 18 years or older, can open a Public Provident Fund
Account. There is no upper age limit for opening this account.
2) Accounts can be opened for minors. Minors are those below the age of 18 years. However, the maximum limit of Rs.1.5
lakhs per year applies to deposits made in the minor and the major’s/guardian’s account, collectively. Grandparents
cannot open an account in the names of their minor grandchildren.
3) Non-resident Indians (NRIs) cannot open a PPF account. However, account-holders who leave the country and obtain
non-resident status after having opened a PPF account can continue to maintain their accounts until it maturesi.e. until
the end of the account’s 15 year term. NRIs are restricted from extending account tenures at maturity.
4) HUFs cannot open a PPF account, effective 2005. Those accounts opened by HUFs before May 13, 2005 can be
continued until maturity without further extensions. An individual cannot open an account for an HUF (Hindu Undivided
5) Foreigners cannot open a PPF account.