PMC bank's loss is Congress-BJP's gain

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 07:45 IST | Chetna Yerunkar | Mumbai

All parties vying with each other on show of solidarity with affected account holders; BJP, Cong demand higher withdrawal limit, Congress says will go to court over issue

Account holders outside a PMC Bank branch. Pic/Sameer Markande
Account holders outside a PMC Bank branch. Pic/Sameer Markande

Ahead of the assembly elections, political parties are viewing the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank fiasco as a way to cash in on the votebank. Both BJP and Congress leaders are demanding increased withdrawal limits for thousands of account holders of the bank. Following customer backlash, RBI on Thursday raised the withdrawal limit from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 in six months.

Account-holders of PMC Bank have been visiting the banks almost every day. There are long queues seen outside the banks, with people waiting to withdraw Rs 10,000. Some customers, however, had to return emptyhanded after the banks ran out of cash, PMC officials said on Friday.

Politicians, meanwhile, have lost no time jumping into the fray. Kirit Somaiya, former BJP MP, was seen demanding the withdrawal limit be raised to Rs 1 lakh. The state government and the Congress leaders have said they will approach the court if their demand of Rs 25,000 withdrawal limit every month for savings account holders is not allowed.

Somaiya had tweeted, "#PMCBank issue today late evening I talked to CM @Dev_Fadnavis & governor @RBI @DasShaktikanta, both have assured to work for revival of Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank & to make efforts to protect small depositors @bjpmaha @bjp4mumbai_" He has tweeted on Saturday, stating, "#PMC fraud I requested @RBI 1. criminal complaint against bank MD, HDIL & others 2. Revival of Bank 3 Merger 4. Raise withdrawal limit in instalment to R1 lac 5. Making available additional liquidity from Deposite Insurance Corpn 6. Give special exemption for additional liquidity"

Congress leaders have demanded that RBI allow a limit of Rs 25,000 every month instead of once in six months for savings accounts. Congress Mumbai chief Eknath Gaikwad said, "There are small businessmen who are suffering, along with thousands of depositors who are left without any answers about what will happen ahead so we are demanding Rs 25,000 be given per month and Rs 2 lakh for current and business account holders. If these demands are not met and the problems continue, the Congress will approach court." A delegation of Congress leaders also plans to meet the RBI governor on the issue.

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