CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar has suggested that people holding bank
lockers should mandatorily declare their valuable assets.
Khattar has drawn the attention of the Union Government to the issue of liability for the loss of valuable items deposited in the bank lockers and suggested making disclosure of valuable assets kept in lockers mandatory. With this, the banks can easily buy a group insurance policy for the hirers of lockers.
In a letter written to Union Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal, he said that if for some reasons, this is considered impractical, customers can aat leastbe given a choice to disclose.
Khattar said that even if the banks do not get the lockers of even the subset of willing customers insured, this would help the bank and the government in quickly dealing with the claims, should an eventuality arise. This, he said, would be big step forward since the Reserve Bank of India has not yet framed any
parameters for assessing such losses.
Moreover, this would be consistent with Government of India’s laudable drive to curb black money and promoting transparency in financial transaction. While highlighting the need for putting in place a policy framework in this regard, the Chief Minister said that people have immense faith in the public sector banks. They keep their valuables in the lockers as they deem it a safe and secure place. Yet, the harsh fact is that the banks are not liable for the loss of valuables even when caused by a natural disaster or a criminal act. The legal reason behind this is said to be the non-disclosure clause in the locker agreement which provides that the hirer need not disclose the contents of the valuable items put in the locker by him,
He also mentioned that the robbery in the branch of Punjab National Bank at Gohana near Panipat in October 2014 has highlighted the need for putting in place a policy framework in this regard.