The history of National Savings Organization dates back to the year 1873 when the Government Savings Bank Act, 1873 was promulgated.During the first world war, the British Government introduced several Schemes for collection of funds to meet the expenditure. It was in this context that the Post Office Cash Certificates and, during the second world war, Post Office Defence Savings Certificates were floated. The need to setup a separate agency was felt and a National Savings Bureau was established in 1943- 44 as an attached department of the Ministry of Finance of the undivided Government of India. The department was headed by National Savings Commissioner with the status of a Joint Secretary. At that time the main functions of the Savings Department were to initiate all policy matters and issue directives for the execution of policy decisions of the Central Government, and to review the Savings Schemes from time to time. Gradually, Savings Organization were established in almost all the Provinces of the sub-continent with the objective of popularizing the Savings Schemes among the masses as well as to supervise, guide and control the working of authorized agents under their jurisdiction. The agents, who were appointed by the local authorities. They were paid commission @ 2 1/2 on the investment secured by them. These authorized agents were in those days the only agency for securing investment in terms of Savings Certificates from the general public. In nutshell the central agency viz. National Savings Bureau, Simla, was mainly concerned with the policy and planning matters of the Savings Schemes whereas the responsibility of execution of various Savings Schemes vested with Provincial authorities .
At the time of Independence there was no time for any sort of innovations in the field of administration. Thus an organization with the name of 'Pakistan savings Central Bureau' was created and the Savings work was entrusted to it by the Government of Pakistan, but this Bureau had its own peculiarities. The Pakistan Savings Central Bureau had no independent entity and was not given the same status as enjoyed by Savings Bureau, Simla. The head of the Pakistan Savings Central Bureau was then called Central National Savings Officer, a Junior Officer of the Ministry of Finance with the status of an Under Secretary to the Government of Pakistan. He was assisted by a Superintendent having some auxiliary staff. In 1953, the Pakistan Savings Control Bureau was re-named as Central Directorate of National Savings and it carried out the functions on the lines of National Savings Bureau Simla but as a part and parcel of the Finance Division, Central Directorate of National Savings was only responsible for publicity, and the operative agents were the Provincial Governments as well as Pakistan post Offices. However, the entire expenditure in this regard was borne by the Central Government. Such an arrangement created a large number of administrative difficulties and stunted the growth of savings. In view of these difficulties the Central Directorate of National Savings was given the status of an Attached Department in September, 1960, and was made responsible for all policy matters and execution of various National Savings Schemes.
Subsequently, it was also declared a Technical Department by the Government. The Director General, National Savings (BPS-20) now enjoys full powers of a Head of the Department.
Till December, 1971, the National Savings Organization functioned as a Publicity organization and its activities were merely promotional in nature. But in early 1972, the scope of its activities was enlarged as the Central Directorate started selling II-Rupee Prize Bonds, and subsequently engaged in the operations of other savings schemes. This resulted in considerable expansion of the National Savings Organization.