Prime Minister, please live in peace and allow us to ‘Rest in Peace’, writes senior citizen
Accusing the Govt of not doing enough, a viral open letter to the PM points out how the low interest rate regime has eaten into the savings of the elderly
The logic of reducing bank interest rates is to promote investment and discourage savings. People are encouraged to take loans and consume so that demand and subsequently production goes up. Traditional economic thinking is that lower interest rates lead to a spurt in investment.
But the low tax regime in the Modi Government has led to neither. Low interest rates, tax breaks and writing off NonPerforming Assts have not induced the private sector to invest. And following the job losses in the wake of the pandemic, people are holding on to their savings and reducing consumption.
The interest rate on a 5-year FD at SBI in 2014 was 9%. Today, the same bank is offering a return of 6.6%, a reduction of 26.6% in six years. Senior citizens who depend on monthly interest payments are the hardest hit, as the following viral post on social media indicates.
Respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji,
I am hoping you will read this in its entirety and thank you in anticipation.
I am a senior citizen. In 2012, I invested Rs 40 lakhs in a nationalised bank and earned Rs. 35,352/- as interest every month. The interest payment ensured a decent retired life. Now on maturity I have reinvested the amount in the same bank and I will be paid Rs. 22,933/-; a shortfall of Rs. 12419/- i.e. 35% every month.
If I were to invest in a safer bank like HDFC or SBI, it would be less than Rs.21000 or a 40% reduction.
Since 2014, your government has done nothing for us senior citizens. No additional facilities have been extended while withdrawing what existed before 2014. All costs of daily essentials have increased, every facility is more expensive. Rice, dals, chana, besan, salt, onion and every vegetable is more expensive while our ‘income’ has gone down by 35% to 40%.
Even the senior citizens savings scheme which was giving us 9.3% return in 2014 is now reduced to 7.4%, a loss of 21%. To top it, your government has limited investments in the scheme to Rs.15 Lacs, thus forcing us into the hands of not so secure commercial banks at an interest rate of 6.25%. Since 2014, at least four banks have gone belly up, making depositors struggle to withdraw their hard earned savings.
I am sure you would have a political response to the only question that makes us struggle every day. It may also be a theoretical response on matters concerning our livelihood.
Isn’t it the duty and responsibility of every government to enable us to lead a dignified life? We also worked, sacrificed and served our country in our prime years. We postponed our consumption, put up with hardships and saved for our old age, knowing that the government would not look after us.
In fact, we were those who saw the British go and built an India with our bare hands. And when we were looking to lead a troublefree retired life, you have taken away 40% of our income without even a mention.
Unlike you, Prime Minister, we don’t have the power to fix our own salaries, allowances and perks. Nor are we paid like MPs for not attending House sessions. While you pass ordinances without even a discussion on matters that affect you, we don’t even find a mention on issues that make our life difficult by the day.
And if indeed you don’t consider us important enough to make our living easy, you may as well consider speeding up our death so that you can live in peace and we can rest in peace.
Age: 80 Years.
A Senior Citizen.