New Delhi , May 29: Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Friday said that the people belonging to the middle class and lower middle class are in economic grief and added that the decision to reduce the interest rates and discontinue the RBI Bonds during the coronavirus lockdown is brainless and heartless.
"In the last 2.5 months, the total combined reduction in income of 30 crore depositors in saving schemes and 44.51 crore account holders of State Bank of India depositors is Rs 44,670 crores annually," Surjewala said in a statement.
This comes as the SBI has reduced interest rates on retail term deposits by up to 40 basis points (bps) across all tenors.
Surjewala said that Rs 44,670 crore is 24 per cent of the actual fiscal stimulus measures announced by the Central government, and claimed that one-fourth of the announced measures are already taken back by the government by a reduction in interest rates.
If we include other public sector banks this figure will increase by at least three times.
"Middle Class/Lower Middle Class is in economic grief. The decision to reduce interest rates and discontinue RBI Bonds during "Lockdown" is brainless, heartless and shameless," Surjewala said.
He said that it started with the reduction in interest rates on PPF, NSC, KVP, and other saving instruments, followed by consistent interest rate reduction on fixed deposits and saving bank deposits by banks.
"Now the latest blow for middles class, lower middle class, farmer, pensioner, and women is the discontinuation of 7.75 percent RBI bonds and further reduction of interest rates by the SBI," Surjewala said.
"Due to the already existing economic crisis worsened by corona crisis the income of the people is down, saving investment avenues are down, the market is down, employment is down and now the government and public sector banks are consistently reducing the interest rate on small saving schemes, fixed deposits, and saving bank deposits," he added.
Surjewala said that the economy is "sinking", but despite that, the government is consistently "shrinking" the savings and income of the common man by reducing the savings bank deposit and fixed deposit rates of public sector banks.
"We demand that interest rates on all small saving schemes, fixed deposits (FD's), and saving bank deposits must be restored immediately at pre-March 12, 2020 level," he said.
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