Amid the suggestions to merge scam-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank and Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSC), former Union Minister Arvind Sawant met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday to discuss the issues regarding PMC bank. Sawant, who resigned from his cabinet post in retaliation to the BJP-Shiv Sena fallout in Maharashtra, had vocally refused to vote for the Citizenship Act in the Rajya Sabha. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has been urged by most political parties to merge PMC Bank with any other financially sound bank and to hold an early meeting with the Reserve Bank of India.
पंजाब महाराष्ट्र को-ऑप. बँकेच्या समस्येवर तोडगा काढण्यासंदर्भात मा. केंद्रीय अर्थमंत्री श्रीमती निर्मला सीतारमण यांची भेट घेऊन चर्चा केली व निवेदन दिले. Met Hon. Union FM @nsitharaman ji regarding the #PMCBank issues & appealed to resolve them at earliest. @ShivSena @AUThackeray pic.twitter.com/o9sX2Owo5y— Arvind Sawant (@AGSawant) December 14, 2019
Earlier on December 5, the Maharashtra government has suggested PMC to be merged with MSC in a bid a provide relief to depositors of the troubled lender. Talking to reporters on this move, NCP leader and state Irrigation Minister Jayant Patil said, "I spoke to the MSC Bank chairman. We have suggested the MSC Bank to try to merge the PMC bank with it so that the poorest of its depositors get relief." He also added that he will be speaking with the Reserve Bank of India to address the concerns of PMC's 16 lakh depositors.
This development comes after the Mumbai police arrested three directors of the PMC bank. While the ED has also approved the sale of properties attached by the agency of the arrested HDIL directors, it will also reportedly file its charge sheet in the case on Monday. Moreover, the Bombay High Court has refused to interfere in the matter as depositors continue to protest, seeking the return of their funds from the RBI - 8 depositors have died till date since the RBI first took over the debt-ridden bank.
On September 21, the RBI took control of the bank for six-months. It had also capped withdrawals at ₹1,000 per account and the bank is not allowed to make any fresh loans for six months. Currently, the withdrawal limit has been extended to Rs. 50,000. After the takeover, PMC Bank, which has Rs. 11,500 crore deposited the bank and has 137 branches, had admitted that one large account-HDIL was the sole reason for the present crisis, as per PTI. Following this, the HDIL directors Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan who had been arrested in connection with a fraud of over Rs 4,355 crores, have been sent to custody. According to the police, PMC Bank officials gave loans to HDIL between the year 2008 and August 2019 despite not paying the previous loans.