Depositors of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC) took to the streets on Friday in protest against the Reserve Bank of India's draft scheme for acquisition of the stressed bank by Delhi-based Unity Small Finance Bank (USFB). According to the draft scheme, the RBI has assured that all depositors will be able to recover their money on a staggered basis over a period of 3-10 years.
Calling it a 'scam', the depositors demanded the RBI to pay at once, their balance amount which was lost after PMC went bankrupt in September 2019, following the fraud of Rs 4,355 crore. One of the elderly protestors shared her ordeal, saying that she has already waited for 2.5 years and may not live until the RBI finally pays her the complete amount.
"I am an 80-year-old woman who has already waited for over 2 years for my money. I alone know how I have struggled to carry out my expenses during this time. Now the RBI has given us a death warrant saying that we won't receive our money for the next 10 years. How do they know if I will live that long? And how will we use that money after that? Why should we wait for our money? We have even paid the tax. They are keeping our money for over 10 years without interest. Is this a joke?" she asked.
According to the draft scheme, the USFB will pay the amount of up to Rs 5 lakhs to depositors, however for the remaining amount, the bank will pay up to Rs 50,000 above the payment already made at the end of 2 years, up to Rs 1 lakh at the end of three years, Rs 3 lakhs at the end of 4 years, Rs 5.5 lakhs at the end of 5 years and the entire remaining amount after 10 years.
Earlier in August, the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the Parliament which ensures that the account holders will get up to Rs 5 lakh within 90 days of imposing a moratorium on the banks. Following this enactment, September 1, 2021, was notified as to the date on which the provision came into force following which the mandated 90 days come to an end on November 29, 2021, and PMC Bank along with others still remains under the resolution process.
The fraud at PMC Bank came to light in September 2019 after the RBI discovered that the bank had allegedly created fictitious accounts to hide over Rs 4,355 crore of loans extended to almost-bankrupt Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).