The Congress took a dig at the Union government on Saturday, dubbing its decision to reduce interest rate on small savings schemes as its "return gift" to voters after they gave it a massive victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said his party will raise the issue in Parliament, where the budget session is currently underway, and demanded that the decision be rolled back.
The government on Friday reduced interest rate on small savings schemes, including National Savings Certificate and Public Provident Fund, by 0.1 per cent for the July-September quarter.
"Few governments in history have received such a mandate as has the Narendra Modi government, and it has gone on to "punish" them by trimming the interest rate on saving schemes relied upon by a majority of people," Mr Khera told a press conference.
"This is the return gift this government has given to people," Mr Khera said, attacking it.
During the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, interest rates on two-year deposit scheme, five-year deposit scheme, public provident fund and senior citizens' saving scheme were 8.4, 8.5, 8.7 and 9.2 per cents, respectively, he said.
Under the BJP-led National Defence Academy government, it is 6.9, 7.7, 7.9 and 8.6 per cents respectively, he added.
"India's household savings are at a 20-year low. One of the reasons for this is the unceasing relentless pursuit of the BJP government to reduce the interest rate in small savings schemes," Mr Khera said.
Asked that interest rates, at which loans are given, were also higher during the UPA government, he parried the query saying he will not join the debate with "big economists" but will say that such decisions should be taken which do not harm people if not benefit them.