Rajya Sabha

August 3, 2017

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien speaks regarding the adverse effects of interest rate cut by SBI

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien speaks regarding the adverse effects of interest rate cut by SBI


Sir, I am glad that the Finance Minister and Leader of the House is here; maybe he will give us an explanation.

The SBI reduced rates on savings in bank accounts, holding a balance of less than Rs 1 crore, by 0.5%. Sir, more than 90% of bank accounts in India are people who have less than Rs 1 crore. Sir, SBI, in their explanation, have said, that after demonetisation there was a huge inflow of funds; about 50,000 bank accounts were being opened every day, and about Rs 1.5 lakh crore was moved into the system. But there were no borrowers in the system because after demonetisation economic activity was low. This is the SBI’s view.

Sir, what impact has this had? Sir, the first impact, the obvious impact, is that small depositors, especially senior citizens, pensioners are all affected. When they are affected, what would they do as alternative? This is a sure fire way of opening up and encouraging chit funds. Everyone talks about chit funds but no one talks about Pearl Chit Fund.

Let us have an investigation on how many people were investigated in Pearl Chit Fund and which Government and which people were involved. What action was happening outside North Block in Delhi and in Punjab? It is very convenient to talk about Odisha and Bengal when it comes to chit funds. Sir, through you I want to caution the Government that this decision will also increase the infiltration of chit funds.

And worse still, the commercial banks also going to be affected. Sir, the rate for the fixed deposits in early 2014 was 10%. I was talking to some senior relatives of mine, they were getting 10%, 9% till a few years ago. Now that is down to less than 6%.

Sir, post demonetisation, 1.5 million jobs have been lost. Sir, now even the NITI Ayog Vice Chairman has suddenly resigned; we wish him luck in his new assignment. No matter what the Government tries to say, he has resigned after three years. Sir, these are the big issues post GST and demonetisation.

The Opposition parties have been trying to discuss these issues. NPAs worth Rs 7 lakh crore have still not been recovered and you are hurting the poor people. Sir, we need a discussion on this; the Government is running away from a discussion. For three weeks we have given notices, Sir, please look into this, take this up and let us discuss it.