Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated on Saturday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Shaktikanta Das, had assured her of keeping the concerns of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) bank customers as his top priority. She mentioned that she had spoken to him about the PMC bank scam. Sitharaman also reiterated her ministry’s commitment to addressing all the problems of the aggrieved customers of the PMC bank. She observed that their grievances were justified.
Spoken to governor @RBI on the #PMCBank matter. He assured me that clients & their concerns will be kept on top priority. I wish to reiterate that @FinMinIndia will ensure that customers concerns are comprehensively addressed. We understand the justified worries of the customers.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) October 12, 2019
Before addressing a press conference at the BJP office in Mumbai on Thursday, she had met the protesting customers of the PMC bank. Later, she said that she would speak to the RBI Governor and request him to allow the PMC Bank customers to withdraw their money as soon as possible. Sitharaman stated that she would convey the sentiments of the protesters to him.
She had said, “I have already been talking to the Governor of the Reserve Bank. I have also told them, that on my return to Delhi this evening, I shall once again talk to him and convey the sense of urgency and distress that the clients of PMC have expressed before me. And I shall request him to expedite the clearing of or giving permission for withdrawal of their money which is deposited.”
The police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the top officials of the PMC bank and the promoters of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL). According to the prosecution, the bank continued giving loans to the debt-ridden HDIL from 2008 to 2019 despite the previous loans not being repaid. This caused a loss of nearly Rs. 4,355 crore. Several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) such as criminal breach of trust, cheating, and forgery have been invoked against the accused.
The customers of the PMC bank have been severely affected in the process. While the RBI has increased the monthly withdrawal limit per customer to Rs.25,000 per month after public pressure, it has failed to pacify the people. Hundreds of aggrieved people have staged protests for more than 19 days. Their principal demands are the return of their hard-earned savings stuck in the bank and the prosecution of the culprits of the scam.