Revamp Small Savings Schemes
THE Centre has raised interest rates for different government saving schemes, subsequent to sharp decline in small savings in the first eight months of financial year 2017-18. Small savings stood to just Rs 40,429 crore, which has been a seven-fold dip from Rs 2,75,682 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. It is time the government introduced all saving schemes presently available in post offices through all branches of various public sector banks. Interest rate on RBI bonds should also be restored back to 8 per cent. There are two different saving schemes attracting 8 per cent simple interest with a capping of Rs 15 lakh on each scheme for an individual – senior citizen saving scheme in post offices and Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana scheme through LIC of India. The central government should club both these schemes into a new one with total capping of Rs 30 lakh through all branches of various public sector banks. It will be better if this combined capping is increased to Rs 50 lakh per senior citizen.
MADHU AGRAWAL, DELHI
Patronage For Swindlers
SHOCKING India to its very foundations, the frequency of scams that has rocked the country is an indicator of the fact that greed, as that vile trait in human beings, has transcended all tolerable limits. With the corruption in high places way beyond redemption, ‘zero-tolerance’ to the malaise is a euphemism employed by the present government to show its abhorrence for the unscrupulousness. The seemingly ‘futile’ attempts in booking the scamsters hardly bear any result considering the vanishing act the swindlers specialise in even before the rip-off comes to light. It is with a fair amount of trepidation that the nation should be viewing its failure to arrest and successfully prosecute the culprits as these shortcomings would be raising enough skepticism in the minds of the people who suspect the machinations of those in power to help the guilty evade the long arm of the law. And some of the recent cases that have flummoxed the authorities have only strengthened such lucid thoughts! Giving shape to India’s biggest banking fraud, diamantaire Nirav Modi proved how easy it is to con the financial establishments in the country and ‘bask’ in the luxuries of the ill-gotten wealth. The ‘complexities’ involved in the extradition effort by the central government to bring Vijay Mallya to justice allows the fugitive tycoon the comforts of a plush ‘retirement’ in a foreign country. Which brings us to the most pertinent question in this context: why are the high and mighty in the country never brought to book for their misdemeanors? While a common man has to bear the brunt of the complicated legal procedures for the slightest infringement of law, it is very disheartening to note the impudence with which the rich and powerful deliberately break the rules. While the arrest and incarceration of a number of prominent political leaders and business magnates over the years strengthens ones belief in the laws of the country, how is it that some ‘manage’ to receive preferential treatment over others!
PACHU MENON, MARGAO