Huge amount of funds of Indira Vikas Patra Scheme lying outstanding
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that outstanding public funds to the tune of Rs. 1,164 crore are pending with the government under the Indira Vikas Patra (IVP) Scheme. When the RTI application was filed to the postal department, it was initially refused claiming that the data would require compilation. However, following a favourable order by the Central Information Commission (CIC), the information was provided to Aseem Takyar who had filed the application.
In the 1980s, the Indira Vikas Patra (IVP) scheme was launched as a small saving scheme which offered a high interest rate. It offered certificates of denominations of Rs. 200, Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 5,000 at half their face value which the investors could buy and later exchange for the face value of the document after a specified period. The advantage with the scheme was that the depositor got money in lump along with accumulated interests (for all years) at the end of maturity period. This scheme was later discontinued in 2001 amidst criticism that it was aiding in parking of the black money anonymously.
The large amount of unclaimed money implies that there are many people who haven’t asked for their money for one reason or another. Surprisingly, it is not the only savings instrument where a huge amount of money is lying unclaimed.
- The public provident fund has about Rs. 22,000 crore lying unclaimed in suspense accounts
- In the savings and fixed deposit accounts Banks (both public and private) there is nearly Rs. 2,400 crore lying unclaimed.
The enormity of the figures call for a devising a mechanism to ensure that there no person is deprived of the funds due to him while the economy too uses these funds productively.