Here are the four small savings schemes that can be availed equally at post offices and selected banks:
Public Provident Fund (PPF) Account
An investment scheme where an individual can open account with Rs 100 but has to deposit minimum of Rs 500 in a financial year and maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh. Deposits can be made in lump-sum or in 12 equal instalments. Deposits qualify for deduction from income under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Moreover, interest earned is completely tax-free.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) Account
Under this scheme, there shall be a single deposit in the account in multiple of Rs 1000 up to maximum of Rs 15 lakh. The basic criteria for opening this account is the age of the account holder be 60 years or more. However, an individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years who has retired on superannuation or under VRS can also open account subject to the condition that the account is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits and amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits. TDS is deducted at source on interest if the interest amount is more than Rs 10,000 per annum. Investment under this scheme qualifies for the benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
An investment scheme where the amount invested doubles in 110 months (9 years & 2 months). It is available in form of investment certificates, in denominations of Rs 1,000, 5000, 10,000 and 50,000.
Sukanya Samriddhi Account
It is a saving scheme specially designed for the parents of a girl child. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015, as a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. Returns from this scheme will be fully exempt from income tax under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.