Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, 10 October, faced irate depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank in Mumbai, and promised to bring in legislative changes to uphold their interests.
The depositors had gathered outside the BJP's office in Mumbai ahead of a scheduled press interaction with Sitharaman, in the run up to the 21 October assembly elections in Maharashtra.
The PMC Bank was put under "directions" by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier in September due to weak financial health, under which the central bank has capped deposit withdrawals at Rs 25,000.
The minister said she will speak to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das about the interests of the depositors and convey their urgency and distress.
"“Once again this evening, I shall talk to the RBI Governor 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 deposited.”" - Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister
The BJP-led government will bring in a legislation to this effect in the winter session of Parliament, she said.
One of the depositors at Nariman point, Krishna, said, “I don't know what they are doing, I don't care what they're doing, I want my money back. I won't be able to earn again whatever I've put in the bank.”
This comes a day after PMC Bank account holders displayed placards saying 'No bail, only jail' on the streets of Mumbai on Wednesday, 9 October.
They demanded that the RBI intervene and called for stringent action against the accused, even as a Mumbai court extended the police custody of the Directors of the now-defunct Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), a debtor of PMC Bank whose failure to make repayments has put the bank in trouble.
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