Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a press meet on Thursday where she said she will be speaking to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) governor in the evening to discuss the Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank crisis.
Shortly before addressing the press meet, Sitharaman had met some of the irate PMC bank depositors, who had gathered outside the BJP office in Mumbai. She had promised to bring in legislative changes for upholding customer interests.
On Wednesday, the distressed customers protested outside the Mumbai court arguing that the revised withdrawal limit of Rs 25,000 imposed by the RBI is still too little. The protestors also accused RBI of not taking strict action against the accused officials and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and resolve the matter.
PMC bank is in bad health allegedly due to its exposure to the near-bankrupt realty player HDIL, to which it has loaned over 70 per cent of its Rs 9,000 crore in advances.
At the press interaction, Sitharaman said secretaries from the department of financial services and economic affairs will be meeting a deputy governor of RBI soon to look into the "shortcomings" of the functioning of multi-state cooperative banks and see if any amendments can be made to the laws.
"They will discuss legislative steps needed to prevent such incidents from happening and empower the regulator better," Sitharaman said.
The minister also said she will speak to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das about the interest of the depositors and convey their urgency and distress.
Last month, the RBI restricted the activities of the PMC Bank for six months and asked it to not grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment or incur any liability, including borrowing of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits.
PMC Bank is a multi-state scheduled urban cooperative bank with operations in Maharashtra, New Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. With a network of 137 branches, it ranks among the top 10 cooperative banks in the country.