Many Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank depositors staged a protest on Sunday at Lokhandwala area in Mumbai. Banners with slogans of ‘Save us, Help us’ and ‘Waryam chor hai’ were seen as the protestors demanded legal action in the scam. PMC depositors have been protesting for many months. Many depositors have lost their lives after the Bank fell into the money laundering scam.
The PMC scam was uncovered after the RBI found that the bank had allegedly created pseudo accounts to hide over Rs 4,355 crore of loans that were given to the financially unstable and almost bankrupt Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).
The Bombay High Court in its 72-page order observed that the PMC bank depositors are to be partially blamed while rejecting the PILs filed against the Reserve Bank of India. The PILs were filed asking to lift the cash withdrawal restrictions imposed by the RBI.
RBI in September had imposed regulatory restrictions on the PMC Bank for six months over alleged financial irregularities. The RBI had asked the bank to not grant or renews any loans and advances. It also restricted the bank for making any investment or incur any liability, including borrower of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits.
Along with the bank, RBI also imposed restrictions on the cash withdrawal limit for the depositors to Rs 1,000 which was gradually increased to Rs 50,000.
On December 15, PMC depositors protested outside CM Udhhav Thackeray’s residence and a delegation of the depositors met him later informing about their concerns. Some protestors were detained by the police.
On Saturday, December 21, Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar raised the issue in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and demanded to merge PMC with any other lender with good financial position to provide relief to the depositors. He also claimed that over 19 depositors have died since the scam was uncovered in September this year.
(With inputs from ANI)