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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Now zero balance post office savings account can only be opened by these people

The government has amended the Post Office Savings Account Scheme rules to allow certain people to open zero balance basic savings accounts with the post office. Currently, post office savings accounts come with a minimum balance requirement that must be maintained mandatorily.

As per a notification by the Ministry of Finance dated April 9, 2021, a basic savings account (or zero balance account) with the post office can be opened by an individual (a) who is a registered adult member of any government welfare scheme and (b) by the guardian of a minor whose name is registered for any government benefit.

The basic savings account opened by the above-mentioned people will be a zero balance account, however, the number of accounts that can be opened cannot be more than one. Government welfare deposits and any other deposits are allowed under the basic savings account with the post office. Thus, if you are availing any government benefit such as pension, scholarship, LPG subsidy etc. and do not want to maintain a minimum balance in your savings account, then you can open such a zero-balance account with the post office.

Currently, as per the scheme rules, the post office savings account requires a minimum balance of Rs 500. If the minimum balance in the post office account is not maintained, then the account maintenance fee is deducted from the individual's account.

It appears that the government is allowing the opening of zero balance account with the post office as well which were earlier opened with the banks. At present, banks allow customers to open zero balance accounts. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to open zero balance account under Jan-Dhan Yojana scheme/Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA).

Such bank accounts come with certain restrictions. In case of the BSBDA account, the maximum balance that can be maintained in the account is Rs 50,000. Total deposits that are allowed under the BSBDA account in a financial year cannot exceed Rs 1 lakh. Further, the maximum amount that can be withdrawn in a particular month cannot exceed Rs 10,000. Not more than four withdrawals are allowed in a month.

With regards to post office savings account, the government's notification does not specify any such restrictions for zero balance basic savings accounts.