GUWAHATI, April 5 - The Northeast Frontier Railway Pensioners� Association has resented the government�s decision to lower interest rates of various small savings schemes of the Indian Postal Service.
Interest on small saving schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme has been curtailed by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter and investments in the Public Provident Fund scheme and the 5-year National Savings Certificate will now fetch a lower annual rate of 7.9 per cent as against the existing 8 per cent.
Kisan Vikas Patra will bring in 7.6 per cent and mature in 112 months. Sukanya Samriddhi scheme for the girl child will now offer 8.4 per cent, the same as the 5-year Senior Citizens Savings scheme.
The NFRPA also disapproved of the move by the State Bank of India and its now-merged associates to raise the minimum average balance in accounts to Rs 5,000 in the six metros.
�Even for the urban and semi-urban branches, the MAB (minimum account balance) has been fixed at Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively and in case of rural branches, the minimum balance has been fixed at Rs 1,000. Breach of MAB will attract a penalty ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 50, which will be effective from 1 April. The association believes that taking this cue other commercial banks will also follow suit,� the association said in a statement.
The association felt that the worst hit by these calibrations will be none other than the poor and the senior citizens who depend for their livelihood on the small income from small savings on their life�s earning. It urged the government to reconsider these moves and withdraw them with immediate effect.