'Small saving interest cuts demonic and anti-people'
Dubbing the Centre's decision to reduce interest rates on small savings "demonic and anti-people", the Trinamool Congress on Saturday urged it to safeguard the interests of the common man, particularly senior citizens. Chief Minister and TC supremo Mamata Banerjee, who chaired a Core Committee meeting of the party at Kalighat in the afternoon, also urged all Trinamool Congress leaders and workers to stand by the affected people and fight for their cause.
Briefing the media after the meeting, party Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said that Banerjee had expressed serious concern over the Centre's decision to reduce the rates of interest on small savings.
"On the one hand, they are shouting about chit funds and on the other by reducing the rates of interest on small savings, they have hit the interests of the common people, particularly senior citizens, badly. We really do not know what prompted them to reduce these rates of interest. We will urge the Centre to take steps to safeguard the interests of the common people," Chatterjee maintained.
On Friday, the Union Government had shocked the nation and delighted India Inc by announcing a lowering of interest rates on small saving schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and the Sukanya Samriddhi by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter, a move that would prompt banks to cut their deposit rates. For April-June, these have been lowered by 0.1 per cent across the board compared to January-March.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra too attended Saturday's meeting on Banerjee's instructions. Asked about Mitra's presence at the meeting, Chatterjee shot back, "He is a party member and did not join the Trinamool from some other party and so attended the meeting."
Chatterjee said that there had been discussions about the ongoing Trinamool Congress membership drive at length at Saturday's meeting. Banerjee told the leaders that under the present political scenario, the importance of Trinamool Congress had gone up and urged them to develop close contact with the masses.
Chatterjee also informed that as the party's senior man in Nadia, Gourshankar Dutta, was not keeping well, four leadersUjjal Biswas, Kallol Khan, Ajay De and Pundarikakshya Saha had been asked to look after the organisation in the district.
A finance ministry notification said investments in the public provident fund (PPF) scheme will fetch a lower annual rate of 7.9 per cent, the same as the five-year National Savings Certificate. The existing rate for these two schemes is 8 per cent. Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.6 per cent and mature in 112 months.