FinMin sets up panel on unclaimed PPF, small savings deposits

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has set up a committee under RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan to assess the amount of unclaimed deposit in the popular PPF and Post Office saving schemes, and suggest steps for utilisation of funds for the benefit of senior citizens.

The Committee, which has been set up in pursuance of the announcement made by the Minister in his Budget speech, will also suggest whether the unclaimed deposit should come to government or be kept in a separate account.

The members of the Committee would include Secretary (Department of Post), Joint Secretary (Law Ministry and Budget Division in Finance Ministry), SBI Deputy MD and PNB Executive Director, a notification said.

The committee would suggest procedure to bring unclaimed deposits to a common pool, it said, adding that the panel would submit its report by December 31, 2014.

Jaitley in his Budget speech had said a large amount of money is estimated to be lying as unclaimed amounts with Public Provident Fund (PPF), Post Office, saving schemes.

"These are mostly out of investments belonging to the senior citizens and on their demise, remain unclaimed for want of relevant payment instructions. I propose to set up a committee to examine and recommend how this amount can be used to protect and further financial interests of the senior citizens," Jaitley had said.

Although there is no official estimate to ascertain the unclaimed amounts in PPF and small saving schemes, it is believed that the amount could run into hundreds of crores of rupees.

In the postal department, an account is declared silent or inoperative when there is no transaction for three years.

A PPF is a 15-year investment scheme, which attracts tax exemption. The minimum annual investment in PPF is Rs 500.

The Budget has announced hiking the maximum annual investment limit in PPF by Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

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