NATIONAL Savings is a financial organisation of the Ministry of Finance where people invest in various schemes and receive profit under various time-based options; monthly, long-term and short-term.

Every investor is required to nominate one or more persons who can receive the amount after his death. Recent amendments regarding nomination rules and disbursement of investment have shattered the confidence and trust of investors in these schemes.

SRO (1) 2020, notified vide finance division notification numbers 18 (12) GS-1/2017-531, 532, 533 and 534, dated April 29, 2020, regarding nomination rules has created utter chaos as all nominations made by the investors have become null and void.

Now a succession certificate from a court must be produced to receive the amount. As is known to one and all, acquiring a succession certificate is a cumbersome and expensive procedure.

Moreover, the investor made nomination in his lifetime and this should be honoured by the government.

This sudden decision creates doubts about the intention of the government. Does this mean that the government wants to discourage people to invest in savings schemes?

It is shocking to know that the investors have not even been informed or guided by the government about the change in policy.

Had they been informed, the investors would have withdrawn their investments from National Savings while they are still alive.

There is no doubt that people, after this decision, will think twice before investing in National Savings, or they may even withdraw their existing investments.

How many people are aware of this change?

Besides, the most important aspect has been ignored — the senior citizens — who are not able to go to the National Savings centres and have invested their savings through their children or relatives.

How this can be justified that on the death of the investor — say, one of the children — the elderly investors would be deprived of their own money because it will all go to the legal heirs whose name was written as the investor in the record book.

In case of Behbood Savings Certificate, the scenario is even worse. What a mess has been created by this amendment for reasons better known to the government. In the present situation, where we are faced with so many hardships and challenges of life, the government should simplify the procedures rather than create difficulty for the investors.

The department concerned should review the new nomination rule in the larger interest of the investors and protect their savings.

Shamim Sagheer

Karachi

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020