Cut in NSS rates.


THE latest cut in the rates of National Savings Schemes will hit some of the most vulnerable sections of society the hardest, and for this reason the government should have taken more time to consider the step. The announcement itself came late at night, which might suggest some protracted deliberation, but pensioners, widows and those with meagre savings, with no capacity to bear risk, have been sorely disappointed. The government's view is that the cut was necessary because of a fall in the rate of the Pakistan Investment Bonds and Treasury Bills, to which these certificates are ultimately pegged. But the fact that the government is in dire need of expenditure cuts at a time of mounting fiscal pressure is also inescapable.

There are a large number of people who rely on savings certificates for a significant share of their monthly income, and for whom there are no other safe investments available in society. It is a little disconcerting to hear the sound of celebrations in the stock market after this rate cut, because these certificates are...

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