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Small savings rate cut reversal not ‘oversight’ as claimed: Chidambaram

“Just as I had said, the decision to lower the interest rates on small savings instruments with effect from April 1, 2021 was not an “inadvertent error” as was claimed by the FM. It was a conscious decision taken on file and approved/signed by the FM,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Friday the Centre’s move to cut interest rates on small savings schemes on March 31, which was reversed the next day, was not an “oversight” as claimed, but approved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Just as I had said, the decision to lower the interest rates on small savings instruments with effect from April 1, 2021 was not an “inadvertent error” as was claimed by the FM. It was a conscious decision taken on file and approved/signed by the FM,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets, reacting to a news report Friday.

“The story of “oversight” and “inadvertent error” was a cock and bull story. The decision to reverse the earlier decision was obviously made on the direction of a ‘superior’ authority, and the FM meekly complied, and signed that file too!” he wrote. Replying to RTI queries from India Today on who approved the cuts in interest rates, the Department of Economic Affairs said “the file related to quarterly revision of rate of interest of Small Savings Scheme was approved by the Hon’ble Finance Minister of India.”

The Ministry had on March 31 cut rates on various schemes by 40-110 basis points, which were restored the following day.

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