The Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Sh Sachin Pilot informed the LokSabha yesterday that the gross deposit of Small Savings Scheme in Post Offices declined in the financial year 2011-12 as compared to the year 2010-11.
The decline of gross deposit in small savings schemes is, among other things, due to investor’s choice of alternative instruments for effecting savings. The Government has taken following measures to make the small saving schemes more attractive:-
1. The rate of interest on Post Office Savings Account (POSA) has been increased from 3.5% to 4%. The ceiling of maximum balance in POSA 1 lakh in single account and 2 lakh in joint account) has been removed.
2. The maturity period for Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) and National Savings Certificate (NSC) has been reduced from 6 years to 5 years.
3. A new NSC instrument, with maturity period of 10 years, has been introduced.
4. The annual ceiling on investment under Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme has been increased from ` 70,000 to ` 1 lakh.
5. Liquidity of Post Office Time Deposit (POTD) – 1, 2, 3 & 5 years – has been improved by allowing pre-mature withdrawal at a rate of interest 1% less than the time deposits of comparable maturity. For pre-mature withdrawals between 6-12 months of investment, Post Office Savings Account (POSA) rate of interest has been allowed.
6. Central and State Governments take various measures from time to time to promote and popularisesmall saving scheme through print and electronic media as well as by holding seminars, meetings and providing training to the various agencies involved in mobilising deposits under various small savings schemes. The rate of interest on Small Savings Schemes has been aligned with Government-Security rates of similar maturity with a spread of 25 basis points (bps) in all schemes except 10 Years National Savings Certificates (IX-Issue) and Sr. Citizens Savings Scheme where the spread of 50 bps and 100 bps has been given respectively (100 bps are equal to 1%). Interest rate for every financial year will now be notified before 1st April of that year.
There were 26,01,69,920 number of operational small savings accounts in the Post Offices as on 31.03.2012 and the amount deposited therein upto the end of March 2012 was Rs. 190732.73 crore .
2,84,10,593 accounts were closed by customers during financial year 2011-12.