10 days ago

Days of manual savings tools go in online age

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The manual savings certificates finally called it a day through the phase-out of the regime as all physical state-managed savings tools matured last month.

According to the Department of National Savings (DNS), all offline or manually handled savings instruments went to full term by 30 June 2024.

As a result, all sales services related to savings certificates are running in a digital system.

The DNS stopped selling manual savings tools on 01 July 2019, as it went for digital transactions countrywide and all manual schemes matured per se last month, officials said.

The DNS sells four savings certificates - 'Five-year Bangladesh Sanchayapatra', 'Three-month Profit-based Sanchayapatra', 'Pensioner Sanchayapatra' and 'Paribar Sanchayapatra'.

At present, the yield rates of these savings tools are up to 11.76 per cent.

The government also sells different types of bonds such as 'Wage Earner Development Bond', 'US Dollar Premium Bond' and 'US Dollar Investment Bond'.

As all physical savings certificates have matured, most savers have enchased their savings certificates.

On the other hand, a government notification on 07 September 2022 stipulated that if the profit of a manual savings certificate was not taken within six years of its maturity, its profit would be lapsed.

In other words, no saver will be eligible to receive the yield anymore.

Therefore, the officials at the DNS suggested that the manual savers receive the money within the deadline.

"No depositor needs to visit savings bureau offices or banks to receive yields on their digital certificates, as their profits and principal amount are sent to their respective bank accounts."

Currently, the number of savers for state-owned savings schemes is 3.3 million online.

The government has set a net borrowing target from such savings schemes to the tune of Tk 154 billion for the fiscal year 2024-25.

However, the revised net target was Tk 180 billion for fiscal year 2023-24.

Savings tools registered negative growth during the July-May period as their sales saw a decline with savers going for bank deposits offering attractive rates, added the officials.

Some banks now offer up to 12 per cent, up from the current savings yields of highest 11.76 per cent.

The DNS data showed Tk 177.42 billion was net negative sales in 11 months of fiscal year 2023-24.

The net investment in the savings instruments also showed negative growth of Tk 30.29 billion during the matching period of fiscal year 2022-23.

Sector insiders said another vital reason for the decline in the sales of savings certificates is inflation.

Overall inflation was 9.72 per cent in June 2024 while food inflation was 10.42 per cent, according to data available with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

Due to high inflation, they feel, many people are no longer able to save money in the last resort to cover their daily bare necessitates.

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