Folks investing in PPF or Sukanya Samriddhi scheme need not worry⁠ — the rate cuts have been rolled back

Folks investing in PPF or Sukanya Samriddhi scheme need not worry⁠ — the rate cuts have been rolled back
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a roll-back of interest rate cutsBCCL
  • The government has withdrawn its interest rate cut order, bringing relief to Indians who invest in small savings schemes.
  • The initial order announced cuts as sharp as 1.1% points, with some of the schemes barely beating the prevailing inflation rate.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the initial order was ‘issued by oversight’.
The Indian government had declared late evening on March 31 that small savings schemes including savings deposits of up to 5-year duration, Public Provident Fund (PPF), Sukanya Samriddhi scheme, Senior Citizens Savings schemes, and more will yield much lower interest than they do now.

However, the morning after, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rolled back the decision after much criticism on social media. The rate cuts announced 12 hours earlier was “issued by oversight,” she said in a tweet.

The old interest rates prevailing as on March 31, 2021 will continue to be applicable.

Small Savings SchemeInterest rate will continue to be...
Savings deposit4%
1-year deposit5.5%
2-year deposit5.5%
3-year deposit5.5%
5-year deposit6.7%
5-year recurring deposit5.8%
Senior Citizens Savings schemes7.4%
Sukanya Samriddhi scheme7.6%
Public Provident Fund7.1%
National Savings Certificate6.8%
Monthly Income Account6.6%
Kisan Vikas Patra6.9%
Source: Finance Ministry

As former Finance Minister P Chidambaram pointed out, it is the practice for the government to issue new interest rates at the start of the financial year and therefore, the order may not have been ‘inadvertent’.

The interest rate cuts, if implemented, would have affected the middle income class and poorer sections. These schemes require minimum investment as low as ₹1,000, which makes it possible for very low paid workers, or senior citizens, to save for a rainy day.

This would have not gone down well with a majority of voters. And with four states and a union territory, namely ⁠— Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry ⁠— in election mode, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may not want to anger the voters by eating into their retirement money or funds set aside for the girl child’s education.

The benefit of these cuts is that they would have brought down the cost of capital for investors, and even the government that is looking to borrow heavily to meet its COVID-19 related expenses and the planned stimulus for the economy.


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