PMC Bank: BJP MLA Tara Singh says, money will be safe

Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 07:40 IST | Hemal Ashar |

Mulund's flamboyant MLA Tara Singh whose father was the moving spirit behind the beleaguered PMC Bank urges people to keep the faith

On Tuesday evening Punjab and Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank Ltd (PMC) customers got a panic attack after hearing that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had put 'directions' on the bank. This meant that those who banked with them saw their finances locked and were told they could withdraw just Rs 1,000 in six months. A day on, conjecture fuelled by WhatsApp messages in overdrive has added to the fear. In this atmosphere, Tara Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Mulund, has told the people, "do not panic, your money will be safe".

Singh has seen this bank grow to its considerable 137 branches across the country. He said, "My father Sardar Partap Singh was a visionary. He came to India as a refugee from Pakistan. Like most from the community, he came here empty-handed but started a number of initiatives for the community. These were hospitals and schools for the community."

Singh said that his father, "had a vision about starting a bank. The genesis of this bank was a 10 x 10 kholi (room) in Sion-Koliwada in the mid-1980s. A group of people gave life to that vision, they started the initiative. The Punjab & Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank Ltd (PMC) began operations in this humble way but grew through the years. It is the service which has been outstanding."

The MLA was categorical in telling the people that their money would come back to them. When asked how he knew, he said he believed in the institution and asked the public to, "keep the faith. If there have been so called 'lapses' these are going to be rectified, they are being worked on."

When asked if this would have any effect on the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections, the Sardar remained steadfast saying, "this has no connection. I can only ask people to tolerate temporary hardship and remember it is temporary. Tell the people that 'Sardar' says your money will be safe," he finished, even batting a question about "where is the achche din that BJP was talking about for these account holders, saying that there is achche din in India."

Financial expert Arun Kejriwal said there "must have been some wrongdoing found by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to have prompted them to move in this way. Now, things will be streamlined and systems put in place after which things will be normalised, which means the bank will be operating as before. There will be some hardship till then. People will be allowed to withdraw, it may be gradual, limits will be set but they will be eased, eventually. Money will certainly not vanish or balances dwindle to zero."

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