what your ppf account will now fetch Instrument chennai l thursday l april 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Small savings rates slashed. A case of bad timing? The Centre on Wednesday revised interest rates of various small savings schemes for the first quarter of FY22 (April 1 to June 30, 2021) The announcement comes at a time when five states are going to polls This might not sit well with voters who have invested in small saving schemes 50-100 bps down Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis. The new rates are lower by 50-100 basis points and this is for the first time since 1974 that Public Provident Fund interest rate will be below 7 per cent Savings deposit 1-year time deposit 2-year time deposit 3-year time deposit 5-year time deposit 5-year RD Senior citizen saving schemes Monthly income account National Savings Certificate Pubic Provident Fund scheme Kisan Vikas Patra Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme Rate of interest 1.1.2021 to 31.3.2021 4.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.7 5.8 7.4 6.6 6.8 7.1 Rate of interest Compounding 1.4.2021 to frequency 30.6.2021 3.5 4.4 5.0 5.1 5.8 5.3 6.5 5.7 5.9 6.4 Annual Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly Monthly Annual Annual in 124 months) in 138 months) Annual 7.6 6.9 Annual 6.9 (maturing 6.2 (maturing The last time the Central government had cut the interest rates of small savings schemes in a big way was in the April-June quarter of 2020-21, when rates were slashed by 70-140 basis points `3.9 lakh cr From the small savings corpus will be used to finance 26% of the fiscal deficit in FY22 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Mixed response to Mamata’s mid-poll pitch on Oppn unity Cong chief Sonia Gandhi remains silent, RJD, NCP concur with Didi; writes to Jagan, too, but not KCR nandigram talking point across bengal M E xpress N ews S ervice @ Kolkata/New Delhi/Patna/Mumbai Accusing the BJP of trying to establish a one-party ‘’authoritarian rule’’ in the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Baner jee on Wednesday wrote to top Opposition leaders urging them to unite to defend democracy . Her letter came ahead of the second phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal and it is being seen as an initiative to drum up Opposition support against the BJP which is the main ri, val of the ruling Trinamool Congress in the ongoing polls. Her call drew mixed reactions within the Opposition with the Congress choosing to remain silent, though regional parties like the RJD, NCP AAP , and SP extended full support. “I strongly believe that that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against the BJP’s attack on democracy and the Constitution. We can win this battle only with the unity of hearts and mind and by presenting a credible alternative to the people of India,’’ she wrote. In the three-page letter, Mamata appealed to non-BJP leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, ailing NC P f o u n d e r S h a r a d P aw a r, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, DMK chief M K Stalin, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav, Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy PDP head Mehbooba Muf, ti, CPI(ML) chief Dipankar Bhattacharya and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. She, however, did not write to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who had fancied his chances in the past at leading a third front. Freebies making public lazy, says HC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Madurai POLITICAL parties are draining the State’s coffers and making people lazy by giving them freebies, observed the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday. The court also asked why not make the political parties deposit 10 per cent of the expenditure required for executing their promises as soon as they assume power, and why not the Election Commission monitor whether the promises are being fulfilled within the party’s tenure. Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi observed that poll manifestos attained popularity only in the past two decades, as parties have started competing with each other offering freebies in various forms and kinds, promising better development and comfortable life to voters. “Whether the development is achieved or not, the freebies have created or are inculcating laziness among the people, shattering the work culture of the State,” they remarked. continued on: p2 express read Pak to import sugar, cotton from India Islamabad: Pakistan will buy sugar and cotton from India, Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said on Wednesday, lifting a ban imposed in the wake of heightened tension over Kashmir in 2019 I strongly believe that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against the BJP’s attacks on democracy and the Constitution Mamata Banerjee, CM We support Mamata. Sharad Pawar may campaign in the last phase of the elections in Bengal after he recuperates Nawab Malik, NCP What she has written now was long ago said by RJD chief Lalu Prasad to save the country from being ruined by the BJP Mritunjay Tiwary, RJD amata Banerjee lit up Nandigram with a slogan that perhaps encapsulates where West Bengal is right now, in terms of the gap between its reality and its desire. “Cool cool Trinamool, thanda thanda cool, vote paabe jora phool,” she thundered, with an elan that TV advertising professionals would envy Jora phool is the grass flower associated . with the West Bengal Chief Minister’s party, the Trinamool. Will it get the votes? Therein hangs a tale. Now, West Bengal may well be renamed Nandigram. You must of course overlook a few distractions — like Amit Shah claiming a clean sweep, in arid Purulia. Or Mamata Banerjee actually demanding that the PM’s visa and passport be cancelled for having visited Orakandi in Bangladesh. Those distractions are quite a handful for an Assembly election, you think? Yes. But then, this is West Bengal West Bengal. A little detour: Orakandi is SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA revered by the Matua commu@ Bolpur/Suiri/Rampurhat, Birbhum nity, quite a vital component of the voters in three Bengal districts. Nobody here, among the intelligentsia, quite likes the fact that the name of caste has been taken. Bengal’s politics has always avoided it. And that’s the BJP’s opening. Bengal still speaks a universal language. It still responds to resonating phrases like ‘Amar Naam, Tomar Naam, Nandigram, Nandigram...’ That’s not just a slogan, by the way Kolkata, Howrah, . Hooghly, Burdwan, Birbhum, 24 Parganas—districts which vote in the third and fourth phases or later—seem somewhat indifferent about what happens to their own constituencies. But they’re not indifferent about Nandigram. Anywhere and everywhere, it’s difficult to get people focused on any other issue. The small talk all around— the small tea shops, the small man walking back after his day’s work in those rich rice fields—invariably focuses on that one thing. It’s the Big Fight. The questions are: Is Didi panicking? Will Suvendu Adhikari pull it off ? Will Nandigram again be the turning point of Bengal’s political history? It’s quite the local thriller. If you so much as mildly declare that you have been to the epicentre and have come out in one piece, you may very well get a discount at a sweet shop, or at Sonajuri haat, Santiniketan. Continued on: P9 Contraction Core infra slips 4.6% in Feb, the most in 6 months Express news service @ New Delhi Indicating that economic recovery would be slower than anticipated, output of the eight infrastructure sectors contracted by a sharp 4.6% in February – the steepest decline in the past six months – the latest government data showed. According to commerce ministry data released on Wednesday, the eight key core sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity – witnessed a decline of 4.4%, 3.2%, 1%, 10.9%, 3.7%, 1.8%, 5.5%, and 0.2%, respectively in February , . Core sector data is crucial as its combined weight is over 40% in the Index of Industrial production (IIP). In January 2021, industrial production slipped 1.6%, after registering a 1% growth in December 2020. Experts say recovery would be delayed with the steep rise in Covid-19 infections across the country “The . fact that all sectors have gone negative is a disappointment,” said Madan Sabnavis of CARE Ratings. No change in inflation target The Centre has kept the inflation target for the next five years at current levels, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Wednesday. The current inflation target is 4% (plus / minus 2%) | P12 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at a rally in Chennai on Wednesday | martin louis People’s verdict will prove opinion polls false: EPS, OPS are attempting to impose opinions on people in the disguise of opinion Decrying the opinion polls that polls to sustain market value and for are being released about the possible sensational news. Are these poll suroutcome of the ensuing Assembly veys the actual results? Everyone elections, Chief Minister knows well that the results of Edappadi K Palaniswami and opinion polls have gone comDeputy CM O Panneerselvam pletely wrong in the past.” on Wednesday asserted that The duo stated that even the AIADMK would register during the times of late leada massive win since “people’s ers MGR and J Jayalalithaa, DAyS verdict would prove the opinopinion polls had gone wrong. TO GO ion polls wrong and faulty”. “The polling day is drawing In a letter to the AIADMK cadre, near. AIADMK cadre should put in Palaniswami and Panneerselvam their maximum to ensure a recursaid, “It seems the press and media ring win,” they added. P4 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai 5 3 cops let off in ishrat JAHAN CASE A special CBI court on Wednesday discharged police officers G L Singhal, Tarun Barot and Anaju Chaudhary in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case | P10
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