Thursday, March 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Ceiling on RBI Relief Bonds goes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 20
The Lok Sabha late tonight passed the vote on account for the first few months of the next financial year while Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha indicated a review of some of the proposals of the Union Budget for 2002-03.

The House also passed the supplementary demands for grants for the year 2001-02 and excess demands for 1998-99. It also passed the appropriate Bills.

The Finance Minister announced lifting of the Rs 2 lakh ceiling for investment in RBI Relief bonds for all retiring employees for ploughing in their terminal benefits.

Mr Sinha said those who were shedding crocodile tears on the government reducing interest rate on small savings were actually pleading the cause of those who were evading taxes.

Replying to the Lok Sabha discussion on the general Budget for 2002-03, Mr Sinha announced that there would be no ceiling on RBI Relief Bonds for investment by retiring employees of the government and public and private sectors.

Winding up the 14-hour discussion, Mr Sinha said in his hour-long reply that he had fixed a limit of Rs 2 lakh in the Budget as people with high net worth were putting crores of rupees in these bonds to avoid taxes.

The RBI Relief Bonds attract an interest rate of 8 per cent. The scheme would also be available to those retiring from banks. The Finance Minister said there was a scheme for investment by government employees and the government was trying to extend it to to the private sector as well.

Giving examples of neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Mr Sinha said while these countries were going to the IMF and accepting the international agency’s programmes, India was in fact influencing the IMF policies in favour of the developing countries. 

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