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Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 stands repealed: Will it impact PPF investors?

The Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and Public Provident Fund Act , 1968 have been merged with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873 and all of them will now come under the Government Savings Promotion Act

The government has recently brought about a significant change in the management of post office small savings schemes. The Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 have been merged with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873, and all of them will now come under the Government Savings Promotion Act. This means, your investments in PPF will not be as per the PPF Act anymore. The Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 stand repealed.

Back in February 2018, the government had proposed about this and stated that relevant provisions of the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873, Government Savings Certificates (NSC) Act, 1959 and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 would stand subsumed in the new amended Act without compromising on any of the functional provisions of the existing Act.

A big change will be that instead of PPF Act, it will now be Public Provident Fund Scheme, 2019 that will determine the rules determining the operation of the PPF scheme. The PPF rules are kept the same and there is no major change in any of the features of the PPF scheme. All deposits made in the accounts or certificate shall be deemed to be made under the relevant provisions of the Government Savings Promotion Act, 1873. There have been a few cosmetic changes, however, that does not mean anything functionally will change for PPF depositors. The government has retained all existing protections while consolidating PPF Act under the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873.

As per the government of India notification dated December 12, 2019, it is also made clear that “Amount standing to the credit of any account holder shall not be liable to attachment under any order or decree of any court in respect of any debt or liability incurred by the account holder.” Therefore, in PPF, the Protection of credit balance from attachment will continue to be there.

Some of the cosmetic changes in the PPF scheme includes the minimum initial deposit of Rs 500 instead of Rs 100 earlier, making any number of monthly deposits as against 12 in one year earlier. Further, the nomenclature of relevant Forms have been changed. For opening PPF account instead of Form A, it will now be Form 1.

In addition to Public Provident Fund Scheme, 2019, the government has notified the following schemes:

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, 2019
  • Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme (SCSS), 2019
  • National Savings (Monthly Income Account) Scheme, 2019
  • National Savings Recurring Deposit Scheme, 2019
  • National Savings Certificates (VIII Issue) Scheme, 2019
  • Kisan Vikas Patra Scheme, 2019
  • National Savings Time Deposit Scheme, 2019

Importantly, PPF will continue to enjoy the exempt-exempt-exempt (E-E-E) tax benefit status as earlier. PPF subscribers or depositors of MIS, Time Deposits, SCSS, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme or holders of NSC, KVP certificates need not be concerned about their money. The investments continue to be governed by the government and carry a sovereign guarantee.

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