The amount of money the government aimed to collect by selling savings certificates in 2020-2021 fiscal was almost achieved in the first five months of the year. The government’s target was 200 billion taka. The amount collected is 190.44 billion taka in the first five months. The key reason of increase in saving certificates sale is lack of opportunity for investment. Especially, a large number of small businesses incurred loss at the time. According to people involved in the sector, the amount will exceed 500 billion taka in the current fiscal.
Earlier, the rules were not followed properly while buying or selling savings certificates. Anyone from businessmen, ministers, law makers and government officials used to buy unlimited number of saving certificates. The main objective of saving certificates which was to protect the interest of small investors was flouted this way. The government later set limit of 5 million taka for individual and 10 million taka for joint account. A pension holder can purchase both the types of saving certificated of maximum at time.
According to Prothom Alo report, the net sales of saving certificates in the 2019-20 fiscal was 58.42 billion taka in the first five months which stands at 190.44 billion in the same period of this year. The sales shot up to 132.02 billion taka within a year. Online sale of savings certificates was introduced on 1 July in 2019 and it was made mandatory to have National Identity Card (NID) and Tax Identification Number (TIN) at the time of purchase. As a result, the sale of saving certificates decreased in the last financial year but has increased again this year.
Small investors will definitely be benefited as the sales of saving certificates increased. The interest rate of saving certificates is over 11 per cent where the interest given by banks is not more than six per cent. On the other hand the government spend the money in development works.
If the money collected by the government through savings certificates is spent on development, the country's economy will gain momentum and employment will increase. This is the positive side. The downside is that if the government's debt increases, it will have to pay more interest. The government itself does not earn. As a result, the burden of that interest will fall on the shoulders of the people. However, by reducing the expenditure and waste of money in the unproductive sector, the government can reduce the amount of debt to some extent. On the other hand, revenue should be increased. The ideal situation is to keep the income and expenditure equal in the budget. In that case, the government does not have to take loans from savings certificates, banking sector or any other source.
As long as that ideal condition is not achieved, the interests of small investors will have to be protected. Those who have bought unlimited amount of savings certificates before online sales started will expire by 2023. After that, the government will have to keep an eye on the situation so that the big fishes cannot get involved in the projects of small investors.