When changes are implemented in the Finance Bill 2018, provisions will be included to make provisions for premature closure easier in respect of all schemes.
"The benefits of premature closure of small savings schemes may now be introduced to deal with medical emergencies, higher education needs, etc," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
The government has also plans to consolidate PPF Act under the proposed Government Savings Promotion Act. The government has said that "no existing benefits to depositors are proposed to be taken away through this process".
"The main objective in proposing a common Act is to make implementation easier for the depositors as they need not go through different rules and Acts for understanding the provision of various small saving schemes, and also to introduce certain flexibilities for the investors," the Finance Ministry said. The government has also said that apart from ensuring existing benefits, certain new benefits to the depositors have been proposed under the bill to merge Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873.
How to know about your PPF withdrawal status
Through internet banking: You can access information related to withdrawals by accessing your bank account through internet banking. Checking the claim status online is possible only in the banks, which accept online deposits.
For post office accounts: Visit your post office branch in person and file a request to know your PPF withdrawal status.
No change in interest rate or tax policy on small savings scheme is being made through this amendment, the government clarified. The interest rate on PPF accounts, like other small savings schemes, is reset on a quarterly basis. Currently, PPF accounts fetch an interest rate of 7.6 per cent (for January-March quarter).