PPF Account Alert – Public Provident Fund is a popular small savings scheme where people can invest a minimum of Rs 500 annually up to maximum of Rs 1,50,000 per annum. The original duration of a PPF account is 15 years.

You can open a PPF account in private, government banks, and Post Office branches. While rate of interest on a PPF account is decided by the Union Finance Ministry. Currently, PPF account interest rate is 7.1 per cent per annum. One can avail Income Tax benefits under Section 88 of Income Tax Act.

However, if your PPF account is not active any more or has become deactivated, you can once again reactivate it by following steps.

Revive Inactive PPF Account:

If the PPF account has become inactive, you will have to submit a written application to the bank or post office where it is open to revive it. You will then have to provide an application to the bank or post office to get your account started. For this, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 50 with a minimum annual contribution of Rs 500.

This makes the PPF account inactive. You have to invest a minimum of Rs 500 per year in the PPF account and a maximum investment of Rs 1.5 lakh can be made in a financial year. If you fail to deposit Rs 500 in a financial year, your PPF account is deactivated. Once the PPF account becomes inactive, you cannot close it before 15 years. Inactive accounts do not have the facility to take loans. In such a situation, if you have failed to contribute to the account for a year, resume it and then it will be activated again. The PPF account which is closed before the date of maturity cannot be permanently closed.

The government had made significant changes to the PPF rules in 2016. The Government allowed the closure of PPF account before maturity in certain situations. These conditions include treatment of life-threatening disease or expenses for the education of the child. Shareholders can do so only after 5 years of PPF account. However, if your account is inactive, you will not get this facility. After the third financial year, a loan on balance can be taken in the PPF account by the end of the sixth financial year. This benefit is not available in the inactive PPF account. If the account holder wants to open a PPF account other than the closed PPF, the rules do not allow it. One person cannot have two PPF accounts.

You can open an account PPF account in your name in a post office or bank and by someone else on behalf of a minor. The minimum amount required for opening a PPF account is Rs 500. A PPF account for minors can’t be opened online.

Here is what you need  to open an instant PPF need an account online with SBI:

*You should hold a  Savings Bank account with SBI*You should have net-banking/Mobile banking enabled for your account*Your ‘Aadhaar’ number should be linked to your account*Your mobile number which is linked to your Aadhaar should be inactive status, to receive OTP (one time password) which is used to e-sign/e-authorize opening of PPF account instantly.

Process to Open PPF Account on SBI portal:

Step 1: Visit SBI  portal at www.onlinesbi.com and log in with your credentials.Step 2: Click and select ‘New PPF Accounts’ option.Step 3: You will be redirected to the ‘New PPF Account’ page on the SBI portal. Existing customer details including his or her PAN (Permanent Account Number) are displayed on this page.Step 4: Enter bank account number from which you would like to contribute to PPF account and PAN number. Provide bank branch details. Once you enter the branch code and proceed to the next field, the portal automatically displays the respective branch name.Step 5: Your personal details need to be verified. These might include address and nomination data. Once verified, click on ‘Proceed’.Step 6: Once you do this, your PPF account will be created in a few seconds and the account number of PPF is displayed. It must be noted that the statement of the transaction, as well as the annual statement of the PPF account, is available on internet banking.Step 7:  Print the account opening form from the tab ‘Print PPF Online Application’ and visit the branch with KYC documents and a photograph within 30 days.