In the first 11 months of the last fiscal year, the government's net borrowing from national savings schemes stood at Tk11,011 crore, which was 92.34 percent of its revised target.
According to the Department of National Savings, the gross sale of savings certificates stood at Tk3,227 crore in May this year.
After paying interest and refunding the principal amount of Tk2,796 crore that month, the government's net loan from the savings tools was Tk430 crore.
In May last year, the net loan from the fiscal instrument was Tk3,257 crore.
Between July and May, the gross sale of savings certificates stood at Tk57,805 crore while interest payment and refund amounts were Tk46,794 crore.
The government lowered its borrowing target from the savings instrument to meet the budget deficit in the last fiscal year as it received a low response from the sector. A low target has also been set for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
In FY2019-20, the government had to cut the target to Tk11,924 crore in the revised budget for savings tools. The total target from non-banking sources was reduced to Tk14,924 crore.
The government previously targeted a borrowing of Tk30,000 crore from non-banking sources for the last fiscal year, of which Tk27,000 crore was expected to come from national savings schemes.
For the current fiscal year, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has set a loan target of Tk25,000 crore from non-banking sources, including Tk20,000 crore from savings instruments.
In the first 11 months of FY2018-19, gross sales of savings certificates stood at Tk63,630 crore and net sales were Tk46,713 crore – after paying interest and refunding the principal.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the private think tank Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, told The Business Standard that the government did not get as much of a loan as it had initially targeted from this sector in the current fiscal year.
From the last fiscal year, the government has tightened the process of investing in savings schemes, he added.
From July 1 last year, the government automated four kinds of popular savings schemes, and made the e-TIN mandatory for investing in them.
A tax burden for an investment of over Tk5 lakh was also put in place.
Additionally, the investment ceiling was set at Tk50 lakh and Tk1 crore for a person and a pensioner, respectively.
Shamsunnahar Begum, director general of the Department of National Savings, said a committee was trying to include two other schemes – postal term deposits and savings deposits – in the individual investment limit of Tk50 lakh.
Recently, the government reduced the investment limit for postal savings tools to Tk20 lakh from Tk60 lakh.
The profit rate for national savings schemes is still around 11 percent whereas the interest rate for bank deposits is a maximum of six percent.
At the end of May this year, the government's outstanding loans increased to Tk298,716 crore.
In FY2018-19, the government's net loan stood at Tk47,946 crore, which was 6.54 percent higher than the revised target of Tk45,000 crore for that fiscal year.