In a massive move regarding scam-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank and Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSC), the Maharashtra government has suggested their merger on Thursday, as per PTI. NCP leader and state minister Jayant Patil has stated that this move was suggested in a bid a provide relief to depositors of the troubled lender. The government is ready to speak to RBI if needed.
"I spoke to the MSC Bank chairman day before yesterday. We have suggested the MSC Bank to try to merge the PMC bank with it so that the poorest of its depositors get relief. If the need be, the state government will speak to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the issue of the merger," said Patil to reporters in Mumbai.
This development after the Mumbai police arrested three directors of the PMC bank. ED has also approved the sale of properties attached by the agency of the arrested HDIL directors. Moreover, the Bombay High Court has refused to interfere in the matter as depositors continue to protest, seeking return of their funds from the RBI.
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. An investigation is still on.
The Bombay High Court, prior to the Maharashtra polls in October, had directed the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to file an FIR against NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar and nephew Ajit Pawar along with 70 others in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case. The court held that there 'credible evidence' against the Pawars. Ajit Pawar has been alleged to be involved in causing losses worth Rs 1,000 crore to MSCB between 2007 and 2011 when Sharad Pawar had been the bank's director.