Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday faced widespread ridicule after she sensationally announced the reversal of her own ministry’s order announcing a sharp cut in interest rates on small savings schemes. What became a butt of jokes was Sitharaman blaming an ‘oversight’ for her government’s order slashing interest rates on saving schemes.
Sensing an adverse impact on the BJP’s electoral chances since the decision impacted salaried middle class people, Sitharaman on Thursday wrote, “Interest rates of small savings schemes of GoI shall continue to be at the rates which existed in the last quarter of 2020-2021, ie, rates that prevailed as of March 2021. Orders issued by oversight shall be withdrawn.”
But her political detractors did not appear convinced with her clarification. Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra took a dig at the finance minister as she wrote, “What is the biggest April Fool’s joke here? That a now- rolled back small savings rate cut was issued by “oversight”? Or that Nirmala Sitaraman is Fin Min of this country?”
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, “Really @nsitharaman “oversight” in issuing the order to decrease interest rates on GOI schemes or election driven “hindsight” in withdrawing it?”
Here are some other quirky reactions mocking Sitharaman’s decision.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) April 1, 2021
What is the biggest April Fool’s joke here?
That a now- rolled back small savings rate cut was issued by “oversight”?
Or that Nirmala Sitaraman is Fin Min of this country?
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) April 1, 2021
This tweet was due to an oversight. It is withdrawn. https://t.co/oYQ2JGlxMU
— Salman Anees Soz (@SalmanSoz) April 1, 2021
Modiji, can you please ask Nirmala to reverse Petrol & Diesel prices to ₹70 through Oversight? #NationalJumlaDay
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) April 1, 2021
Wish voters too had this option – voted ‘by oversight’. https://t.co/dwQkRx90p8
— Pawan Khera (@Pawankhera) April 1, 2021
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) April 1, 2021
The decision to reduce the interest rate on Public Provident Fund (PPF) by 0.7 percent to 6.4 percent had caused largescale anger. Adding insult to the government’s injury was the decision to reduce the interest rate on National Savings Certificate (NSC) by 0.9 percent bringing it to 5.9 percent.
The steepest fall of 1.1 percent was effected in the one-year term deposit. The new rate was brought down to 4.4 percent as compared to 5.5 percent. Interest rates, as reported by news agency PTI, for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis.