Updated: April 8, 2015 2:52:28 am
The recently re-launched Kisan Vikas Patra has failed to garner much interest and collected just Rs 1,100 crore in 2014-15.
In contrast, another small saving scheme launched last year — the Sukanya Samriddhi Account — is fast gaining popularity with over 27 lakh accounts already opened under it. Overall collections under small saving schemes, too, are expected to meet their target in 2014-15, for the first time in many years, as per provisional estimates.
“The muted response to the KVP has been surprising. We were expecting much more interest and certainly, a lot more in deposits,” said a senior government official, while pointing out that collections may have also been impacted as the scheme was operational only for four months last fiscal.
Gross collections for KVP were as high as Rs 21,631.16 crore in 2010-11, which was the year before it was discontinued. However, the finance ministry is hoping that it will gain more interest with nationalised banks set to offer the KVP certificates to subscribers from the next month.
“At present, both the KVP and the Sukanya Samriddhi Account are available with post offices. But the schemes will be available in public sector banks as well soon, so they should become more popular,” said the official.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had in November 2014 re-launched the KVP, which was a hugely popular small saving scheme of the 1990s.
Available in denominations of Rs 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 with no upper ceiling for investments, the government was hoping that the KVP would also help channel in unaccounted funds into the formal banking system.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Account was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year as a special scheme where parents of girl children would be incentivised to save for their education and marriage.
The finance ministry is also confident of meeting its collection target of Rs 33,276 crore from small savings for 2014-15. “The projections are quite optimistic and we are hopeful of meeting the target,” said the official. With better interest rates and a higher tax deduction limit, the target for receipts from small savings was raised three-fold in the revised estimates for 2014-15 from the Budget estimate of Rs 8,229 crore.
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