Can NRI invest in PPF?

According to a recent notification by the Government of India, NRIs will not be able to open new Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Scheme (NSC) accounts. The existing accounts held by Non-Resident Indians (NRI) stand closed. The closure will come with effect from the day their status changes to Non-Resident. It implies that such individuals will not earn 7.6% tax-free interest on these savings from the closure date. Furthermore, the interest given on these accounts will fall to a mere 4% p.a. unless the money is encashed. This is the Post Office Savings Account (POSA) interest rate and also subject to income tax!

You can read about how to withdraw the money from a PPF/NSC account here.

While this move may look harsh, this brings an opportunity for NRIs to make more out of their investments. PPF with low 7.6% returns is not an optimal way for NRIs to invest for the long term. Mutual funds offer higher and tax-efficient returns to grow one’s money. On top of it, investments in ELSS (a special class of equity mutual funds) up to ₹1.5 lakh per year are also tax-exempt under Section 80 (C) like PPF. ELSS funds have a lower 3 years lock-in period compared to 15 in PPF.

ELSS funds have also given 15–20% annualized returns in the last 5/10/20 years. Mutual funds also have high liquidity are all fully repatriable for NRIs if invested through an NRE account. You might like to know that ₹1.5 lakh invested annually in an ELSS fund (ABSL 96 Tax Relief) for last 22 years has given ₹4.84 crores higher returns than same investment in PPF!

Point-to-point Comparison of Mutual Funds and PPF

Return Comparison

As you can also see in this image below, how 1.5 lakh invested annually in ABSL 96 Tax Relief ELSS fund for last 20 years compares with the same investment done in PPF. While ELSS investment grew to a massive ₹5.67 crores, PPF investment just grew to a mere ₹86 lakh!

Why should NRI invest with


bank grade security

100% Paperless & Online: As mentioned above, Upwardly has an exclusive 100% online solution for NRI to invest in mutual funds in India. This means that NRI investors can start investing from the comfort of their houses abroad. With NRI solution, there is no need for NRI to come to India to invest in Indian mutual funds or equity markets. Upwardly also brings the comfort of investing, managing and redeeming NRI investments completely online.

100% FATCA Compliant: It may be noted that some Indian mutual fund companies do not allow US/Canada NRI to invest in the wake of FATCA norms. Meanwhile, other top fund companies like L&T Mutual Fund offer their funds to US & Canada NRI investors. Upwardly NRI solution automatically selects the best mutual funds and portfolios where NRI can invest based on their country of residence. NRIs can also speak to Upwardly NRI Investment experts to get guidance on the suitable investment plan.

Bank Grade Security

Life time protection

Upwardly take security very seriously. It has chosen some of the best encryption protocols in the world. Your data is safe, secure and only accessible by you. The investments are routed through the BSE payment gateway. The funds do not touch the Upwardly bank account.

Investments done through are held by Mutual Fund companies. Investors receive independent email confirmations from fund companies for all investments done through Upwardly. Even in the rare scenario of Upwardly not existing anymore, all the investments would continue to be safe. Also, the investors will continue to receive monthly email statements from CDSL, a record-keeping body.

Trusted Advisory



Upwardly brings you sophisticated investment strategy used by millionaires and Ultra HNIs. Our algorithm manages your investments 24 x 7, round the clock. Based on market conditions, Upwardly re-balances and re-works your portfolio. Upwardly investment strategies have been back-tested over 20 years of historical data. Upwardly is a SEBI registered Investment Advisor.

You can read about the procedure of investing in Indian Mutual Funds here. Do come and say a hi to us at Upwardly.

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