The finance ministry has raised the interest rates on some small savings schemes for the January-March quarter, the second quarterly increase in a row. The rates on the various instruments have been raised between 20 to 110 basis points and now range from 4.0 percent to 7.6 percent, according to a statement on December 30.
|SMALL SAVINGS INSTRUMENT||INTEREST RATE FOR OCT-DEC||INTEREST RATE FOR JAN-MAR|
|One-year time deposit||5.5%||6.6%|
|Two-year time deposit||5.7%||6.8%|
|Three-year time deposit||5.8%||6.9%|
|Five-year time deposit||6.7%||7.0%|
|Five-year recurring deposit||5.8%||5.8%|
|Senior Citizen Savings Scheme||7.6%||8.0%|
|Monthly Income Account||6.7%||7.1%|
|National Savings Certificate||6.8%||7.0%|
|Public Provident Fund Scheme||7.1%||7.1%|
|Kisan Vikas Patra||7.0% (123 months)||7.2% (120 months)|
|Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme||7.6%||7.6%|
The Centre had increased the interest rates on these popular instruments by 10-30 basis points for October-December after leaving them unchanged for nine consecutive quarters. This was despite yields on government securities falling in the reference period by 15-25 basis points.
Interest rates in the economy have risen sharply amid sharp rate increases by the central bank, which has increased its key policy rate by 225 basis points since April in a bid to contain inflation. Banks have also followed suit, raising both lending and deposit rates for their customers.
In its most recent Monetary Policy Report, released on September 30, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had noted that with government bond yields moving higher, the revised small savings rates were 44-77 basis points below the formula implied rates.
In September-November, which is the reference period for small savings interest rates for January-March, the yield on five-year government bonds rose by around 15 basis points, while 10-year bond yields increased by 10 basis points over the same period.
The central bank has periodically called on the government to stick to the formula-based approach to setting small savings interest rates.
In its Monetary Policy Report of October 2021, the RBI had warned that the interest differential on small savings schemes and bank deposits had resulted in growth in accretions under the former consistently exceeding that of bank deposits since 2018. This, the RBI said, would have implications for monetary transmission whenever demand for credit picked up.