Loan to vendors: MP bank branch sealed, then allowed to reopen

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(Eds: Updates, adds quotes) Shajapur (MP), Feb 23 (PTI) A branch of the State Bank of India was sealed in Shajapur of Madhya Pradesh by district authorities after it reportedly failed to provide loans of Rs 10,000 to applicants under the Centre's Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVAnidhi) scheme, officials said on Tuesday.

The Magaria branch of SBI was sealed on Monday afternoon for not disbursing loans despite a camp being organised, and for operating the branch from a residential property instead of its designated place, a release from the Shajapur district administration said.

It added that Additional Collector Manjusha Vikrant Rai, Deputy Collector Juhi Gupta, Tehsildar Dr Munna Ad as well as revenue and police officials were present when the action was taken.

However, it was allowed to resume operations by district officials later on Tuesday, though employees under the aegis of the SBI Officers Union stopped work for the day in protest.

Rajnish Chopda, the manager of the branch that was sealed, told PTI that a memorandum had been submitted to the district collector by the bank staff, including those from the lender's Bhopal office, demanding suspension of the officials involved in the incident.

'The branch was unsealed on Tuesday,' Chopda added, while SBI Officers Association (MP-CG) president Madan Jain confirmed that 'in protest against the incident, SBI and other banks have stopped working on Tuesday'.

'We will raise this issue with top officials of the SBI and further action will be taken after a week,' Jain added.

The protest letter written to the collector by the branch staff claimed officials misbehaved during the sealing operation.

The letter written by the bank staff also claimed 59 people were given loans under the Central scheme, and that officials were made aware of it on Monday afternoon, but despite this, sealing action was undertaken with police being called in.

The letter also claimed the branch employees were forcibly taken to the collector's office and allowed to leave after sometime.

However, the allegations were denied by the additional collector who claimed the sealing process was carried out as per rules and no staff was subjected to any kind of misbehavior.

Incidentally, on February 1, garbage was dumped allegedly by municipal workers outside the branches of four banks in Begumganj in Raisen district for not disbursing loans to street vendors. PTI COR MAS BNM BNM