For the January-March 2023 quarter, the government increased the interest rates on a few small savings schemes by 20 bps to 110 bps. However, interest rates of the Public Provident Fund have not been changed for this quarter as well.
For PPF accounts, the current interest rate for Q4 (January through March) of FY 2022–23 has been set at 7.1%.
Important features of PPF
Here are important features of PPF according to the SBI website.
A minimum of Rs.500.00 subject to a maximum of Rs.1,50,000 per annum may be deposited.
Original duration is 15 years. Thereafter, on application by the subscriber, it can be extended for 1 or more blocks of 5 years each.
The rate of interest is determined by Central Govt. on quarterly basis. At present it is 7.10% per annum with effect from 01.04.2020.
Loans and withdrawals are permitted depending upon the age of the account and balances as on the specified dates.
Income Tax benefits are available under Sec 88 of IT Act.
Nomination facility is available in the name of one or more persons. The shares of nominees may also be defined by the subscriber.
The account can be transferred to other branches/ other banks or Post Offices and vice versa upon request by the subscriber. The service is free of charges.
Choices at maturity
a) Can take maturity payment by submitting account closure form along with passbook at concerned Post Office
(b) Can retain maturity value in his/her account further without deposit, the PPF interest rate will be applicable and payment can be taken any time or can take 1 withdrawal in each FY.
(c) Can extend his/her account for further block of 5 years and so on (within one years of maturity) by submitting prescribed extension form at concerned Post Office.
According to the SBI website, on an application to the accounts office in Form-5, an account holder can request the premature closure of his account or the account of a minor or person of unsound mind for whom he is the guardian, on any of the following grounds:
i) treatment of life threatening disease of the account holder, his spouse or dependent children or parents, on production of supporting documents and medical reports confirming such disease from treating medical authority
ii) higher education of the account holder, or dependent children on production of documents and fee bills in confirmation of admission in a recognised institute of higher education in India or abroad
iii) on change in residency status of the account holder on production of copy of Passport and visa or Income tax return.