Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Sunday informed that she has written a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman raising concern over consistent fall in interest rates in small savings schemes that have affected senior citizens the most as they depend on such schemes for their basic needs and survival.
Earlier on Friday, Chaturvedi in his letter said, "The consistent fall in interest rates in small savings schemes such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS), National Savings Certificate (NSC) and Post Office Savings Scheme has most affected senior citizens as they depend on such schemes for their basic needs and survival."
Currently, interest rates are extremely low considering the high inflation. Interest in fixed deposits over the years has come down from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, she explained.
Post offices savings have come down to around 7 per cent with a cap of 15 lakhs on investment. In the case of PPF, it has a cap of 1.5 lakh only annually. Further, all of these ring PPF are taxable, the letter read.
"Lower interest has made it difficult for senior citizens and retired employees to have sufficient income to run their households," she said.
Chaturvedi further in the letter said the lower interest rate leaves them with a lower retirement fund and regular income. The pandemic also has put a severe strain on the pockets of the public and disrupted the savings plan. Therefore, it becomes the duty of the government to ensure that the burden is not transmitted to the public, especially senior citizens which constitute about 140 million of the country's population.
"I request you to kindly consider and Provide a special rate of interest on bank fixed deposits keeping the concerns of senior citizens and retired people in mind," the letter read.
"The Union budget offers the government this opportunity to resolve these concerns and provide relief to the people of our country," the letter added.