Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Savings certificates: Finance Minister defends profit lowering

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the government’s decision to lower the interest or profit rates on different national savings instruments will not harm small depositors. 
Mustafa Kamal said it will bring a balance between the interest rates of banks and other available options of interest earnings. 
“This won’t harm the interest of the grassroots-level depositors as interest rates on deposits upto Tk 15 lakh would not be lowered,” he told reporters responding to a question on the government’s recent decision on Wednesday. 
He said savings instruments were introduced mainly for the benefits of the pensioners. “But there’re many depositors who keep money over Tk 1 crore under this scheme shouldn’t get the same benefits.”  
The finance minister’s remarks came against the backdrop of the government’s decision to reduce the profit rates on five types of savings certificates in the country.
On Tuesday, the Internal Resources Division of the Finance Ministry issued a notification to reduce the profit rates of savings certificates.
It said the profit margins of five-year Bangladesh Savings Certificates, three-month profit-based Savings Certificates, Pensioner Savings Certificates and Family Savings Certificates have been lowered.
It also said the interest rates of term-deposit will also decline, but general profit rates of Post Office Savings Certificates will remain unchanged.
At present, any depositor can annually obtain 11.28 percent profit on the five-year Bangladesh Savings Certificate. 
But under the new rules, those who have invested more than Tk 15 lakh in these savings certificates will get a profit at 10.3 percent.  And if the investment is more than 30 lakh, the profit rate will be 9.3 percent.
Mustafa Kamal said the government does not want the large scale depositors to get the same benefits like those being given to the small-scale depositors. 
Solar Power 
Responding to another question on approval of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase for a solar power plant to a Panama-based company, the finance minister said he would inform the media about the details of the company later. 
There are widespread allegations as many shell companies receive company registration from Panama to evade the taxes to legalize their investment of black money.