Thursday 3 October 2019

Customers’ Expectations from POSB and our Constraints

Bruhaspati Samal
Sahidnagar Mukhya Dak Ghar
Bhubaneswar- 751 007

Gist of Interaction with a Senior Citizen

As a Postmaster, I’m very fortunate to interact daily with various types of customers starting from minors to senior citizens and do derive immense pleasure while I become enable to motivate even a single customer out of many during the day for investment in any Post Office Savings Bank Scheme.

Today (03.10.2019) while interacting as such with a senior citizen in my office, I was asked several questions by a senior citizen as follows.

Ø Why you have a limit of maximum investment of Rs.15 lakh in a Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) Account?

Ø Why there is a time limit of opening of one SCSS Account only during a month?

Ø Why you have a limit of Rs.4.5 lakh / 9 lakh in Single / Joint Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) Account?

Ø Why you are giving 1% less interest in case of premature closure of Time Deposit Accounts?

Ø Why you have not enhanced the present ceiling of tax free interest per year up to Rs.10000/- earned from S B Account since 2012-13?

As I noticed, his entire questionnaire was concentrated on ceiling-less investment and return under any POSB Scheme. Registering his deep faith on Department of Posts on one hand, he expressed his strong resentment also on the other regarding fixed ceilings and time limit on SCSS and MIS Accounts.

The gentleman continued with his deep investigation on POSB Schemes.

 “As I know, you had a limitation on maximum investment in your Savings Bank Account which has since been withdrawn and a person can now deposit any amount without maximum limit. While you have no limitation on maximum investment in SB, RD, TD, NSC and KVP, why you have kept such ceiling against MIS and SCSS Account? There is no restriction in opening any number of Accounts in a month under RD, TD, MIS, KVP and NSC. So why there is such a restriction for SCSS Account debarring a customer to open more than one Account in a month.  I should be entitled to get the prescribed rate of interest of 3 Year TD Account if I close my 5 Year TD Account after completion of 3 years and not 1% less than what has been prescribed for a 3 year TD Account”.

At a stretch, he also told, “While the rates of interest on various POSB Schemes are quite satisfactory, we, the senior citizens who have retired from Govt./corporate service with sufficient financial benefits are deprived of investing in India Post beyond these limitations on maximum investment. What is the value of 9 lakh or 15 lakh now a day? We believe India Post and its trustworthiness. Why shall we opt for any other financial institutions?  As the Postmaster of this office, you should write to the Govt. for withdrawing such limitations on investment for better financial inclusion fulfilling the noble vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India for attaining Five Trillion Dollar Economy by 2024”.

I just remained static without frowning even at the gentleman’s deep faith and knowledge on India Post. He did not allow me to tell anything from my side. I did salute him for his deep study on POSB Schemes and valuable suggestions.

He reminded me that decades back we had no provision of giving Post Maturity Interest (PMI) in any POSB Scheme continued beyond the prescribed period of maturity. An aware customer like him took the shelter of Hon’ble Court and finally the PMI was paid initially for 2 years and thereafter with the kind intervention of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, for the entire period of investment beyond the date of maturity. If sincere effort is taken both by the Post Office and customers, the above limitations can be withdrawn by the Department benefiting India Post to attract more customers for opening of more accounts with more investments.

My submission that we are just guided by the Ministry of Finance as a corporate agent did not satisfy him.

Before leaving my chamber, he confirmed me to write to the Ministry of Finance and Department of Posts in this regard shortly.

Really, as a common citizen of India, I also found some logic in his arguments and decided to communicate the views of a senior citizen to my authorities for doing needful.

NB: A letter has already been submitted to the Secretary (Posts) through proper channel on 03.10.2019

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