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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Post office savings continue to shrink

The small savings maintained by Indians with the post office have dwindled over the past two years. The outstanding amount held by the post office shrunk by 0.5 per cent in the first half of FY13 after declining by 2.2 per cent in 2011-12.

This appears to have been on account of people shifting their savings to avenues offering a higher return. Once quite popular, certificate schemes have fallen out of favour due to the low rate of interest vis-à-vis bank fixed deposits, tax-free bonds and non-convertible debentures. The government had in November 2011 decided to link rates of these schemes with market rates to bolster their appeal but the move has not attracted investors.

While post office deposits witnessed a rise during the first half of 2012-13, subscription to various certificates saw a larger fall, resulting in a decline in overall small savings with the post office.

The cumulative corpus of savings bank, time deposits and recurring deposit schemes rose by 1.2 per cent in the first half of the fiscal, compared to 3.6 per cent erosion in 2011-12.

The outstanding amount parked in certificate schemes, on the other hand, fell by 3.7 per cent in H1, 2012-13, in the wake of a 2 per cent decline in 2011-12.

Postal Public Provident Fund investments rose by 2 per cent in the first half of 2012-13.


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