Silver lining for state finances

The chit fund mess has come as a boon for the state government’s finances as the month of March has shown a significant increase in its small savings collections.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: April 25, 2013 3:59 am

The chit fund mess has come as a boon for the state government’s finances as the month of March has shown a significant increase in its small savings collections.

The small saving has shown an enhanced positive balance in March amounting to Rs 245 crore suggesting that people are once again preferring the small savings schemes as a safer bet instead of the chit fund,which had been mushrooming in the state for a while.

“At least some people seem to have regained faith in our small savings schemes even though the interest has been reduced by 0.1 per cent. This is a very good sign. We hope to increase our collections further in due course,” said an official of the finance department.

The mushrooming of shady companies which raised money from small depositors through the Collective Investment Scheme promising high and absurd returns had affected the government’s collection in the small saving schemes.

Last year September,the balance — the difference of the amount deposited and withdrawn by people in the small saving schemes — stood at Rs 25 crore,slightly positive. In November,it increased marginally to Rs 37 crore and in December to Rs 55 lakh. The positive balance is crucial as it enables the state government to get loans and tide over its financial crisis.

Bolstered by the fresh collection,the finance department is now pushing for further improving the figures. “We are asking our small savings development officers and deputy directors to be pro-active as this is time when the public will be wary of shady companies and prefer to keep their money in banks and post offices,” said another official.

H K Dwivedi,Principal Secretary (Finance),said the state government will intensify its collection campaign.

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