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Cash MachinesReuters File

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) with Aadhaar or PAN card can now open National Pension Savings (NPS) accounts online using the eNPS platform, the finance ministry said in a statement.

NRIs have been allowed to open NPS account by personally approaching banks until now, however, the recent move will extend the facility of electronically enable NPS (eNPS) to be accessed by them.

India with second largest Diaspora and 29 million Indians living in over 200 countries have a pivotal role to play in India's economies in diverse ways. For instance, Gulf countries, which account for 25 percent of Indians overseas, often have many returning back home after years of employment in the region. NPS can provide a long term solutions to most of their old age income security, it added.

The statement further added that NPS accounts can be opened both on repatriable and non repatriable basis. Both schemes will greatly appeal to NRIs planning to return back to India in future, as it avails of attractive returns, low cost and flexibility. With Provident Fund Regulatory authority of India (PFRDA), a central government-run regulator, operating the savings schemes the subscribers will be backed by complete assurance, it noted.

Repatriable basis means NRIs will have to remit the amount through his or her non-resident account that is either external rupee account or the ordinary rupee account or foreign currency account (NRE, NRO or FCNR accounts, respectively).

Non-repatriable basis means that NRIs will be able to join NPS through all three accounts, however, at the time of maturity or withdrawal the NPS funds will only be deposited in their ordinary rupee account.

Since May 2009, NPS has been allowed to be accessed by every Indian citizen on a voluntary basis. A subscriber is allowed to exit NPS for reasons such as superannuation, premature exit and death. Except for India's armed forces, the entire central government employees who join the work after 2004 are registered under this pension scheme.