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Congress steps up attack on Centre over reduction in interest rates of saving instruments English.Lokmat.com

Congress steps up attack on Centre over reduction in interest rates of saving instruments

The Congress on Friday stepped up its attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre over the reduction in interest rates of saving and fixed deposit instruments and the decision to discontinue RBI Bond, saying the middle class and lower middle class are in "economic grief."
Congress steps up attack on Centre over reduction in interest rates of saving instruments

The Congress on Friday stepped up its attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre over the reduction in interest rates of saving and fixed deposit instruments and the decision to discontinue RBI Bond, saying the middle class and lower middle class are in "economic grief."

In a statement, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that in the last 2.5 months the total combined reduction in the income of 30 crore depositors in saving schemes such as PPF, NSC, KVP and of 44.51 crore account holders of State Bank of India was Rs 44,670 crore annually due to reduction in the interest rates.

He said that Rs 44,670 crore amounts to 24 per cent of "actual fiscal stimulus measures announced (Rs 186,650 crore) by the government."

"So around one-fourth of whatever is announced is already taken back by the government through the reduction in interest rates. If we include other public sector banks, this figure will increase by at least three times," he said.

Surjewala said the latest blow for the middle class, lower-middle-class, farmers, pensioners and women is the discontinuation of 7.75 per cent RBI bonds and further reduction of interest rates by the SBI.

"Middle class, the lower middle class is in economic grief. The decision to reduce interest rates and discontinue RBI bonds during lockdown is brainless, heartless and shameless," he said.

Surjewala said the income of people, markets are down due to coronavirus crisis and the interest rate on small saving schemes, fixed deposits and saving deposits was being reduced.

"Economy is sinking despite that government is consistently shrinking the savings and income of the common man by reducing the savings bank deposit and fixed deposit rates of public sector banks," he said.

He demanded that interest rates on all small saving schemes, fixed deposits and saving bank deposits must be restored immediately at the level before March 12, 2020.

On Thursday, party leader P Chidambaram had termed the abolition of the RBI bond as another cruel blow.

"Every government is bound to provide at least one safe, risk-free investment option to its citizens. It was the RBI bond since 2003. The government has dealt another blow to citizens who save, especially senior citizens. It has discontinued the 7.75 per cent RBI bonds," he said in a tweet.

"After lowering the interest rates in PPF and small savings instruments, the abolition of the RBI Bond is another cruel blow. All citizens must demand that the RBI Bond must be restored immediately," he added.

( With inputs from ANI )

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