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Measures taken to discourage sales of saving certificates

Published : Friday, 5 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 162

The Finance Ministry has taken several restrictive measures on buying saving certificates from July 1. It aims at reducing buying of high yielding interest saving certificates and to reduce debt burden on the government in the current fiscal 2019-20, official sources said.
These measures include an increase in tax on interest from saving certificates. It has also asked banks and other concerned parties to keep watch on big depositors who may attempt to use money of the provident fund to buy saving certificates.
They should make sure that in such cases that tax commissioners have duly certified such attempt to avoid misuse of the facility. Similarly, certificates by deputy tax commissioner should be attached for buying saving certificates by agricultural firms. Moreover measures have been tightened for buying saving certificates by firms not eligible to buy it.
The sources said banks have been asked to strictly maintain the vigilance. The Finance Ministry and Bangladesh Bank have separately warned them and circular has also been issues demanding strict compliance.
Banks are suffering from liquidity crisis due to heavy investment in saving certificates. This is why the government has taken the strict measures to slow down investment in saving certificates and ban people from misusing the opportunity bypassing the rules.
The finance ministry has already put in place 'National Saving Certificates on Line Management Scheme' to strengthen the monitoring saving certificates. It has been introduced in all divisional cities including metropolis Dhaka.     The government has also made mandatory the showing in national identity card by individual while buying saving certificates. Tax on income from saving certificates has also been raised to 10 percent from 5 percent to discourage rush for buying saving certificates. It has already become effective from July 1, the sources said.  
Bangladesh Bank has already been issued notification in this regard.
Khurshid Alam, General Manager of the Date Management Department of the Bangladesh Bank, "We found that some companies were breaking the law and investing in government savings instruments. According to the rules, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) requires a certificate to invest in government securities. This law was not being obeyed.
"The government is very alert now. We said that the law is to be obeyed," he added.
Sources in Bangladesh Post Office said they were providing interest on savings certificates to customers through 1,426 post offices across the country.
According to government sources, the net sales of national savings certificates stood at Tk. 39,733 crore in July-March in 2018-19 fiscal year.
They said the government has paid interest on savings certificates to the tune of Tk 18,154 crore in the last 11 months of 2018-19 fiscal year.
On the other hand, the target of saving certificate sell was Tk 26197 crore in 2018-19 fiscal year.
Earlier, the Finance Division had issued a letter, which was sent to the Bangladesh Bank (BB), Directorate of National Savings, Bangladesh Post Office and Sonali Bank, asking them to carry out transactions of national saving certificates online from July 1.
Those who have already invested in saving certificates and bonds will have to submit the same to draw profits or encash matured ones. The most popular among 11 saving certificates are: 5-year Bangladesh Sanchayapatra (11.28 per cent yield), 3-monthly Profit Bearing Sanchayapatra (11.04 per cent), Family Saving Certificate (11.52 per cent), and Pensioner Sanchayapatra (11.76 per cent yield).
According to sources, the Finance Minister on June 13 imposed 5 percent additional source tax of national saving certificate. As a result, the common people, especially the low income people, pensioners and housewives are becoming panic. They have been thinking about earning regular income. In this reality, 5 percent of new taxpayers will be declared withdrawn on saving paper.
Finance Ministry sources said that the transaction of national saving certificates will come under an automated system through online from July 1.

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