Finance Ministry mulling hiking lock-in period for PPF account
After the completion of 15 years, the investor has the option of withdrawing the fund or extend the lock-in period by five more years
Finance Ministry is considering a proposal to raise the minimum lock-in period for withdrawal from PPF account from six to eight years to attract longer term funds for infrastructure development.
“Infrastructure funding is the focus area for Budget. PPF is long term INVESTMENT and the idea of increasing the PPF lock-in is to have more scope to channelise funds into infrastructure,” a source said.
The NDA government would present its Budget for 2015-16 on February 28.
“There are two proposals on the table. Increasing the lock-in period by at least two years to eight years. And also hiking the time limit for maturity of INVESTMENTfrom 15 years,” the source added.
Currently INVESTMENT of up to Rs 1.50 lakh in Public Provident Fund (PPF) is exempt from Income Act under 80C. This was hiked from Rs 1 lakh in the budget for 2014-15.
The interest rate on PPF Account is revised at the beginning of financial year in April and currently stands at 8.7 per cent. The minimum annual INVESTMENTis Rs 500 and maximum is Rs 1.5 lakh.
Under the present norms, an individual can withdraw money from his/her PPF Account only at the end of sixth year. The maximum amount of withdrawal from PPF Account is 50 per cent of the amount retained in the Account in the end of fourth year. This amount can be used for any emergency purpose or for higher studies.
After the completion of 15 years, the investor has the option of withdrawing the fund or extend the lock-in period by five more years.
India targets double its INVESTMENTS in infrastructure to USD 1 trillion during the 11th Five Year Plan that began in April 2012.