Sitharaman’s comments blaming oversight for cutting interest rates draw flak

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Comments Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman blamed the supervision to cut interest rates in a small savings scheme to more than four decades low rise to the opposition on social media. Comments come when the government turns back his decision to reduce tariffs.

Nirmala Sitharaman.
Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Really @Nsitharaman ‘oversees’ in issuing orders to reduce interest rates in the Indonesian government scheme [Indian government] or the ‘rear’ selection in pulling it?” Tweeted Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra minutes after the order withdrawn.

Interest rates for public provident funds were reduced from 7.1% to 6.4%, and at a national savings certificate from 6.8% to 5.9% for the June quarter. The level of senior saving scheme was cut from 7.4% to 6.5%. The level of Sukriddhi’s claim scheme, a small payment instrument that paid the highest, was reduced from 7.6% to 6.9%.

Congress leader Salman Soz took Jibe to the inconsistency of the Minister’s Decree and Tweet: “I joined BJP.” In another tweet, Soz said his previous comment was “supervision”.

Lawyers Trinamool Congress Mahua Moitra quoted Sitharaman and Tweet statements: “What is the biggest April Fall joke here? That the cutting of small savings rates that are now rolled out by ‘supervision’? Or that Nirmala Sitaraman is fin min from this country?”

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala wrote Sitharaman has

“no moral right to continue as the Minister of Finance”. “Madam FM [Minister of Finance], do you run a ‘circus’ or ‘government’? One can imagine the functionality of the economy when such an approved order affects crores people can be issued by ‘supervision’. Who is competent authority referred to sequence?”

HT has reached BJP for comments. Copies will be updated when parties respond.

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