14 Feb 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Government of India makes Amendments in Small Savings Act

  • In order to remove existing ambiguities due to multiple Acts and rules for Small Saving Schemes and further strengthen the objective of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”.
  • Government of India has proposed merger of Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873. With a single act.
  • Relevant provisions of the Government Savings Certificates (NSC) Act, 1959 and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 would stand subsumed in the new amended Act without compromising on any of the functional provision of the existing Act.

Apart from ensuring existing benefits, certain new benefits to the depositors have been proposed under the bill. These are:

  • As per PPF Act, the PPF account can’t be closed prematurely before completion of five financial years. If depositor wants to close PPF account before five years in exigencies, he can’t close the account. To make provisions for premature closure easier in respect of all schemes, provisions could now be made through specific scheme notification.
  • Investment in Small Savings Schemes can be made by Guardian on behalf of minor(s) under the provisions made in the proposed bill Guardian may also be given associated rights and responsibilities.
  • There was no clear provision earlier regarding deposit by minors in the existing Acts. The provision has been made now to promote culture of savings among children.
  • There were no clear provisions in all the three Acts for the operation of accounts in the name of physically infirm and differently abled persons. Provisions in this regard have now been made.
  • As per existing provisions of the Acts, if depositor dies and nomination exists, the outstanding balances will be paid to nominee(s). Whereas, Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement stated that nominee(s) is merely empowered to collect the amounts as Trustee for the benefit of legal heirs. It was creating disputes between the provisions of the Acts and verdict of Supreme Court. Hence, right of nominees have now been more clearly defined.
  • The existing Acts are silent about grievance redressal. The amended Act allows the Government to put in place mechanism for redressal of grievances and for amicable and expeditious settlement of disputes relating to Small Savings.

 


Agricon 2018 and Agriexpo 2018

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the international conference ‘Agricon 2018’ and ‘Agriexpo 2018’ at Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology (CSAUT), Kanpur.

 


New Scheme Venture Capital Fund for OBC’s

  • A New scheme Venture Capital Fund for OBCs on similar lines as Venture Capital Fund for SCs to be launched with an initial corpus of Rs. 200 crore.
  • It will be under Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment.

 

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