Friday, June 1, 2007
The question of who is to be blamed for errors and miscalculations of interests and subsequent faulty closing balances on National Savings Scheme (NSS) deposits haunts M S Ramachari, an elderly resident of J Block, Anna Nagar.Ramachari, who retired from a reputed private firm, had opened two NSS accounts, ANE-20453 and ANE-20454 when the scheme was first introduced, at Anna Nagar East post office. One account was in his wife's name and the other in his name. These accounts were maintained and controlled by Park Town HPO. But, his NSS passbook, which was supposed to be neat (without additions and deletions) in terms of interest entries, looks like a revalued mathematics answer- sheet. The 'revaluation' had begun in 2001, well after computerisation in Postal Departments, and still continues on his passbook. For the last seven years, since the problem began, he had paid many visits to Park Town HPO near Ripon Buildings to get the figures corrected. During his visit every year, he got an assurance from the officials concerned that things would be sorted out this year and from next year onwards, there would not be any problem with the calculations. But it still continues.Upset over the Postal Department's callous attitude, Ramachari spoke to News Today a few days ago.'Just tell me what is computerisation? Was it for miscalculation and revaluation?', he asks angrily. His point of contention was right. When the officials said that all the interest calculations were computerised, how could the difference in interest calculation arise? Valid question indeed. Ramachari says, 'I was surprised that the Postal Department cannot calculate simple interest accurately and maintain an NSS account properly'. 'Regarding the issue, every year since 2001, I spoke to the person in-charge at Park Town HPO, but nothing was done. Normally, interest for the amount deposited in National Savings Scheme is credited annually on 1 April. Whenever I seek credit-entry at Anna Nagar East post office, they ask me to submit the passbook. Once the statement of interests reached them from Park Town HPO, they enter the figures and return the passbook to me'. The problem starts here. 'When I verified the figures, I found it inaccurate. So, I approached the Anna Nagar East post office. They advised me to go to Park Town directly, so that things could be sorted out at once, as the accounts were maintained by them. It is painful for a person like me, being a heart patient to climb three floors. Initially, the officer incharge would argue with me citing those interest calculations are computerised, so there was less chances of an error. After my detailed explanation, he got convinced and asked me to come after 10 days. I have to visit once again to get the correct figures entered.'When contacted, a Postal Department official attached to the Anna Nagar post office said, 'It is the problem with the official concerned. Every interest calculation is made only on the figures provided to them, and any sort of manipulation is very difficult at their level.' When asked about whether they get such type of complaints from depositors, he said, 'we get very few complaints, but this case is seems to be very peculiar'.