Staff Reporter

Stresses the scheme’s importance, especially for women

Says NSS crisis should not affect State plans

Mahila Pradhans urged to garner more funds

KOZHIKODE: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said here on Saturday that the State Government would pressure the Union Government to change the attitude towards the National Savings Scheme (NSS) which was in a crisis.

Mr. Achuthanandan was speaking after inaugurating the State convention of the NSS agents. He said the Centre’s policy on NSS became a challenge to the State since it was on the basis of the Rs.2,700-crore loan from this account that the State’s budget was projected. Now the situation was that the State had to return a sizable sum on account of withdrawals. The crisis should be overcome so that the State’s development plans would not suffer. Terming the NSS as a secure deposit and a nation-building fund, he said thousands of women were provided employment through the initiative. He called upon the Mahila Pradhans to ensure that sufficient savings were garnered through their efforts.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, who presided over the function, explained the relevance of the NSS in the overall financial stability of the State, and the connotations that arose if the sum provided as loan through NSS was not to the expected level.

While a sum of Rs.10,000 crore was provided through tax, Rs.8,000 crore came as Central assistance and Rs.7,000 crore as loan in the budget projections. But the loan amount was not forthcoming. He, however, said despite financial constraints the Government would not close the Treasury. The Minister pointed out that during the months of May, June and July, while the collection was Rs.625 crore, the withdrawal was Rs.685 crore resulting in an overdraft. Owing to huge withdrawals the State had to make back payments.

Food Minister C. Divakaran in his keynote address alleged that vested interests were behind the move to erode the NSS.