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Mamata launches state-sponsored small savings scheme after Saradha scam

True to her word, the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a state-guaranteed small savings scheme that will be operational from 5 October.

Announcing the ‘safe savings scheme’, Banerjee said the state government had kept its promise of launching a financial security scheme to protect the interest of small investors who had been devastated by the Saradha chit fund scam not so long ago.

The chief minister said an individual can deposit an amount ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 1,00,000, and the amount can go up to Rs 5 lakh in case of a family.

‘The maturity tenure under the scheme will be between one year and five years, but in case of need one can withdraw the amount anytime after three months,’ Banerjee said.

The scheme will be managed by a state-owned financial corporation and backed by sovereign guarantee, state finance minister Amit Mitra said. The collection and repayment under the scheme will be through four banks, the State Bank of India, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and UCO Bank. Asked about the coupon rate on the deposit, Mamata said the full details can be known later but the return will not be less than bank deposit rates.

About the pension bill, which was passed in Parliament on Thursday, Mamata said that from now on pension funds would go to private hands, which her party Trinamool Congress was opposing.

Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that a democratic and peaceful atmosphere for development should return to Darjeeling and once again ruled out the question of division of the state.

A democratic and peaceful atmosphere was the prerequisite for development, which has not taken place in the hills for the last 30 years, she said.
Nandini Guha

Nandini Guha

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