In the run-up to elections, a number of banks have failed to provide daily reports, citing manpower shortage

Owing to shortage of manpower in banks, the Chennai District Election Office is unable to track suspicious transactions in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

The spokesperson for the office on Monday said there were no ‘suspicious’ transactions reported by any of the 42 banks in the city.

Last week, the district election office directed the 1,000 branches of the 42 banks to start reporting transactions on a daily basis.

“We are unable to trace any suspicious transactions in the city by any of the candidates or their relatives. But 17 of the 42 banks have not sent any data on suspicious transactions. Banks such as Axis Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, South Indian Bank and United Bank of India have compiled data from all their branches and have sent it,” said a senior official of the office.

According o the official, some public sector bank branches have been sending data directly to the election officials concerned. “But other branches of the same bank have failed to send reports. A few of the branches of State Bank of India are sending such data. The district election officials will meet with district lead bank managers on Tuesday to persuade banks to track suspicious transactions. If the banks fail to respond we will escalate it to a higher level,” said the official.

An official of a public sector bank cited inadequate manpower for sending data on suspicious transactions.

A nodal officer in each branch has to submit data on cash transactions. The district election office has directed banks to issue certificates to traders and residents who withdraw more than Rs. 50,000. But most banks do not have the manpower to issue such certificates.

Cash transactions in many branches have already come down by more than 50 per cent because of restrictions relating to the model code of conduct. 

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