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Bengal launches its own ‘safe’ savings scheme, to match banks on rates

Calcutta, Sept 5 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced a state-sponsored small savings scheme that will be operational from October 5.

Annoucing the “safe savings scheme”, Mamata said the state government had kept its promise of launching a financial security scheme to protect the interest of small investors who had been devastated by the Saradha chit fund scam.

The Chief Minister said an individual can deposit an amount ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 1,00,000, and the amount can go up to Rs 5 lakh in case of a family.

“The maturity tenure under the scheme will be between one year and five years, but in case of need one can withdraw anytime after three months,” Mamata said.

The scheme will be managed by a state-owned financial corporation and backed by sovereign guarantee, state finance minister Amit Mitra said.

Asked about the coupon rate on the deposit, Mamata said the full details can be known later but the return will not be less than bank deposit rates.

The collection and repayment under the scheme will be through State Bank of India, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Uco Bank.

More banks may join later as state government had kept the door open for more banks to join.

About the pension Bill, which was passed in Parliament on Thursday, Mamata said that from now on pension funds would go to private hands, which her party Trinamool Congress opposed.