Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday met the depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, who were protesting outside the BJP office at Nariman Point in Mumbai.
After finding certain irregularities in the PMC Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred the bank from carrying out almost all its routine banking activities for six months. However, in a major relief for the customers, the central bank increased the withdrawal limit from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.
As withdrawal limits have been imposed, the depositors are demanding that their savings be returned.
Addressing a press conference after meeting a group of angry customers of the cooperative bank, Sitharaman said that she will hold talks with the RBI Governor today evening over the distress of the depositors.
“I will once again talk to the Governor of Reserve Bank this evening to convey the distress of PMC clients,” the finance minister was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Sitharaman said that although the Finance Ministry has nothing to do with the PMC Bank matter since RBI is the regulator, she has asked the secretaries of the ministry to work with the Rural Development Ministry and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to study in detail as to what is happening.
“Representatives of the RBI will also be there to understand the shortcomings, what happened and also to, therefore, if necessary, look at the ways in which the respective acts will have to be amended,” the Finance Minister added.
If the amendments are going to help curb malpractices, help the ministry in better regulating them and empowering the RBI, we would like to do it, she said.
The group which will look into the PMC Bank crisis will have two secretaries of the Finance Ministry, Nirmala Sitharaman informed.
The minister further said that if necessary, the Centre will introduce an amendment or regulation in the forthcoming Winter Session of the Parliament
Meanwhile, the agitated depositors are demanding the denial of bail to the arrested HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan.
The protesters have alleged inaction by the RBI in the latest banking fraud to rock the country.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Esplanade Court extended the custody of Wadhwans, arrested by the EOW in the Rs 4,355 crore fraud in the bank on October 2, till October 14.
The bank has come on the regulatory radar after Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd and its directors failed to repay a Rs 4,355 crore loan taken from PMC Bank putting the bank under liquidity stress.