The Congress on Friday accused the BJP government of reducing income of State Bank of India (SBI) depositors by bringing down interest rates and demanded that the previous rates be restored.
The total combined reduction in income of 30 crore depositors in saving schemes and 44.51 crore account holders of SBI depositors is Rs 44,670 crores annually from reduction in interest rates on savings schemes, and saving and fixed deposits, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claimed.
“We demand that interest rates on all small saving schemes, fixed deposits (FD’s) and saving bank deposits be restored immediately at pre March 12, 2020, level,” he said in a statement.
In the last two and a half months, SBI has reduced interest rates on various schemes. He claimed that the Rs 44,670 crores is 24 per cent of the actual fiscal stimulus measures — Rs 186,650 crore — announced by government. So, around one-fourth of whatever is announced is already taken back by the government through reduction of interest rates, Surjewala said. If we include other public sector banks this figure will increase by at least three times, he said.
Surjewala said it all started with reduction in interest rates on Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) and other saving instruments, followed by consistent interest rate reduction on fixed deposits and saving bank deposits by banks.
Now the latest blow for the middles class, lower middle class, farmers, pensioners and women is discontinuation of 7.75 per cent RBI bonds and further reduction of interest rates by SBI, the Congress leader noted.