Mumbai

PMC depositors start two-day agitation at Azad Maidan

Protesters take aim at RBI, say they are yet to get all their money back even after more than four months

Around 20 depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank kicked off a two-day sit-in on Monday, gathering at Azad Maidan from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In September last year, the Reserve Bank of India placed restrictions on PMC Bank after a multi-crore-rupee fraud came to light. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police filed an FIR against bank officials and employees for allegedly advancing unsecured loans to the HDIL Group, causing losses amounting to over ₹6,500 crore. The EOW has filed two charge sheets in the case so far.

Monday’s protest was aimed at the RBI over the difficulties faced by the depositors in getting their money back. The depositors were seen holding banners saying: “Thanks for doing your job so well Reserve Bank of India, we literally lost all our life savings,” and, “Get well soon RBI.”

According to the depositors, they have not received all their money yet, even though it has been over four months since the investigation began. Depositors said they have received only ₹50,000, while senior citizens have received ₹1,00,000 since September.

Chandrashekhar Chittrapu (69) said, “What is more painful is that the RBI is partly responsible because on several earlier occasions, it gave a clean chit to the PMC in its audit. How many of us actually look into technical terms like liquidity, asset base before entrusting a bank with our savings? By its very definition, a bank stands for trust and as an underlying security of assets.”

Another depositor, Madhavi Thakur, said ₹50,000 is not enough to sustain a family or even live individually, and one also has to bear costs, such as in health emergencies.

Manjula Kotiyal, another protester, said they have to pay fees for their children’s education, and each of them has lakhs of rupees as savings in the bank. “We met Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur in Delhi to communicate our grievances in December last year. He had promised us that he will try and help us. However, in Parliament, he said it was the State government’s lookout. Everyone is just shifting their responsibilities,” she said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:40:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pmc-depositors-start-two-day-agitation-at-azad-maidan/article30787170.ece

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