Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to provide a special interest rate on bank fixed deposits for senior citizens and remove the cap on investments in postal savings scheme and public provident fund. In a letter to Sitharaman, Chaturvedi said lower interest rates on savings schemes have left senior citizens with lower retirement funds and put a severe strain on their pockets, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union Budget offers the government this opportunity to resolve these concerns and provide relief to the people of our country, Chaturvedi, a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra, said.
Currently, interest rates are extremely low considering the high inflation. Interest rates in fixed deposits over the years have come down from 12 percent to five percent, post offices savings have come down to around seven per cent with a cap of Rs 15 lakh on investments, she said.
In case of PPF, it has a cap of Rs 1.5 lakh only annually. Further, all of these barring the PPF are taxable, she said, adding lowering of interest rates has made it difficult for senior citizens and retired employees to have sufficient income to run their households. Chaturvedi asked Sitharaman to provide a special rate of interest on bank fixed deposits keeping in mind the concerns of senior citizens and retired persons. She also requested the finance minister to remove the cap on post office savings scheme and PPF to allow a steady source of secure income to senior citizens keeping in mind the rising cost of living.
The Rajya Sabha member said the issue of decline in interest rates on small savings schemes such as PPF, senior citizens savings scheme, national savings certificate and post office savings scheme were brought to her notice by senior citizens, non-government retired employees and their associations.