New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): The Congress party on Saturday slammed the Central government for reducing interest rates on small savings schemes, saying the move was aimed at "snatching" hard-earned savings of the people.
Demanding that the previous rates should be restored, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that his party would raise the issue in parliament and termed the decision as a "return gift" to the people who had voted the BJP back to power.
Khera, who was addressing media persons, here said that the BJP-led NDA government had reduced rates on small savings schemes extinguishing savings of crores of people.
"Congress demands an immediate rollback in the slashing of interest rates on small savings schemes," he said.
"Systematic reduction of interest rates on small savings schemes by the BJP government in the past five years has extinguished savings of crores of people," he said.
"India's household savings are at a 20-year low. One of the reasons for this is the relentless pursuit of the BJP government to reduce the interest rates on small savings schemes," he said.
He said the decision was "anti-people" and reflected apathy on the part of the government.
"India's middle class and ordinary citizens have re-elected the BJP with a brute majority but the BJP's 'return gift' to them is an unkind, apathetic and anti-people step, that snatches away the hard-earned savings of crores of people," he said.
The Central government said on Friday that interest rates on small savings schemes will be reduced by 10 basis points (bps) for the July-September quarter.
Khera said the government has reduced interest rates on saving instruments like Public Provident Funds (PPF) and National Savings Certificate (NSC).
"Small savings are important for the economy. In May 2014, 8.4 per cent interest rate was there on deposits of two years but now it has come down to 6.4 per cent," he said.
"For five-year deposits, 8.5 per cent interest was given during our time but today it is 7.7 per cent. For Kisan Vikas Patra, 8.7 per cent interest was given during our time, which has now been cut down to 7.6 per cent," said Khera. (ANI)