EPF interest rate: Govt backstabbing honest taxpayers, says Cong

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New Delhi: The Congress today accused the Narendra Modi government of “backstabbing” honest taxpayers by lowering the interest rate on EPF.

The party also alleged that it the government was indulging in “organised fleecing” and “legalised pilferage”.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said that the prime minister had promised to bring ‘achhe din’ (good days), but in the last four years, his actions have only brought ‘burre din’ (bad days) to the people of the country.

“Post the colossal loss of almost Rs 30,000 crore ‘loot’ and scams being unravelled in the past seven days, the Modi government has once again backstabbed the common people and honest taxpayers of the country by reducing the interest rates on EPF from 8.65% to 8.55%,” he said.

The Congress leader claimed that post 2014-15, this was the second such reduction and the interest rate on EPF has now been reduced twice from 8.75% (in 2014-15) now to just 8.55%.

Earlier in December 2017, he said the Centre had cut the interest rate on small savings schemes, including the Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC) and Kisan Vikas Patra, by 0.2% points for the January-March quarter.

“Since Modi came to power in 2014, his government has indulged in a systematic reduction of interest rates which have extinguished the savings of crores of common people,” he said.

Surjewala said in a statement that the interest rate for savings bank account which was 4% in May 2014 was now 3.5%.

He claimed that by reducing 0.5% interest rate, the depositors of State Bank of India, India’s largest public sector bank, have to face a cut of Rs 4,700 crore per year in their hard earned savings.

Surjewala said interest rate for saving in PPF has been reduced from 8.7% (in May 2014, during the Congress-UPA) to just 7.6% effective from January. This has adversely affected nine crore, such depositors, he claimed.

“Modi had promised ‘Achhe Din’, but in the last four years, his actions have only resulted in ‘Bure Din’ for India’s people. Only one year is left now, and people of India are surely readying to give a resounding answer to Modi government’s anti-people policies,” he said.

The Congress leader also recalled the multiple new bank charges that the Centre had levied from time to time, including that on withdrawal of their own money and for using ATMs.

PTI