Chidambaram slams Centre, says govt dealt another blow to citizens as RBI bonds scheme stop

Alphonse Joseph

New Delhi, May 28: Former Union finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday hit out at the government for discontinuing the RBI Bonds scheme, saying it is another "cruel blow" to the citizens.

He said the government has dealt another blow to the citizens who save, especially senior citizens, as it has discontinued the 7.75 per cent RBI Bonds. Deploring the government action, he urged people to demand from the government that the RBI Bond be restored immediately.

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Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram said, "After lowering the interest rates in PPF and small savings instruments, the abolition of the RBI Bond is another cruel blow."

"All citizens must demand that the RBI Bond must be restored immediately," the former finance minister added.

Chidambaram said the government did this once before in January 2018. "I protested vehemently. Next day they re-introduced the bond but reduced the interest rate from 8 per cent to 7.75 per cent," he noted. He said effectively, after-tax, the bond will yield only 4.4 per cent.

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"That is now taken away. Why? I deplore this action," he said. The former Finance Minister said every government is bound to provide at least one safe risk-free investment option to its citizens and "it was the RBI bond since 2003".

The government discontinued the 7.75 per cent Savings (Taxable) Bonds scheme, 2018, by issuing a notification that said that they shall cease for subscription with effect from the close of banking business on May 28.

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