What is PPF?
Public Provident Fund scheme is a long term investment scheme floated by the Government of India. PPF has been introduced for salaried as well as for self employed people to encourage savings habit and provide tax benefits. As compared to other small savings schemes introduced by government and by non- government institutions, The balance in the PPF account cannot be attached by any order or decree of court in respect of any debt or liability incurred by the subscriber.
Investor can invest as minimum as Rs. 500 to maximum Rs. 1,00,000 in the PPF account in one complete financial year in one lump sum subscription or in maximum 12 transactions. Tenure of PPF scheme is 15 years and premature closure of account is not allowed. After 15 years investor can completely withdraw the accumulated balance (Principal + Interest) and close the account or if investor desires to extend his PPF account, extension can be taken in a block period of 5 years for any number of times. As per PPF scheme terms and conditions prescribed by Government, an investor can avail of loan and withdrawal facility.
What are the tax benefits?
Public Provident Fund scheme stands out in terms of benefits offered. This is because investment in PPF scheme falls under triple E (Exemption) regimen i.e. Principal, Interest and outflow all are tax exempted. This means that you get tax benefits from investing your money and also the interest and maturity payments are tax exempt.
What are the interest rates?
The PPF interest rate has steadily dropped over the years, and can be expected to slowly fall as the years proceed though there has been a upswing in the last 2 years.Hereâ€™s a look at what rates used to be in the hey-days of the PPF account:
Period Interest Rate p.a.
01 April 1986 â€“ 14 Jan 2000 12.00%
15 Jan 2000 â€“ 28 Feb 2001Â 11.00%
01 March 2001 â€“ 28 Feb 2002Â 9.50%
01 March 2002 â€“ 28 Feb 2003 Â 9.00%
01 March 2003 â€“ 30 Nov 2011 Â 8.00%
01 Dec 2011 â€“ 31 March 2012 Â 8.60%
01 April 2012 till date Â 8.80%