Bankers and senior citizens are now confident that the announcement made by the Ministry of Finance regarding the upper limit for the preferential 15% interest being raised for a deposit of Rs. 1.5 million will prevent the government authorities from postponing the issue of the relevant circulars to banks and financial institutions The government on Wednesday (15) raised the upper limit of Fixed Deposits to Rs. 1.5 million for senior citizens at an interest rate of 15% per annum effective from March 1. However, concerns were raised by stakeholders including the public whether the government would implement the proposal.

The government raised the upper limit of the Fixed Deposits of senior citizens through the 2016 Budget proposals. The government proposed to expand this benefit to citizens above 55 years of age and the 15 per cent interest rate to be applicable to deposits up to Rs.1.5 million.

However, the proposal was not implemented as the authorities had not issued the relevant circulars.

Customers who queued up at banks were in a state of confusion for weeks as there was uncertainty about the implementation of the proposal.

A similar situation also arose during the early part of 2015 where the government made the same pledge through its interim budget.

Bank customers were left confused as several banks had not received circulars to implement the said proposal.  However, bankers pointed out that this time the government would have to implement the proposal as it had been widely publicized.

The Finance Ministry said it had already instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Policy Planning of the proposal, where the latter would instruct the Central Bank to issue a circular instructing all the banks to implement the said proposal.