NEW DELHI: Come September, it will be one year since the RBI imposed a withdrawal limit on scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank. However, it’s 90,000 odd depositors are still running from pillar to post to avail their hard earned money amidst the pandemic.
Kirit Shah, a businessman based in Malad was infected with Covid-19. After spending 15 days in hospital for treatment in July, he was given a bill of Rs 7 lakh. But despite having Rs 4 crore deposited in the PMC Bank, he had to beg his relatives for help as bank allowed him only Rs 4 lakh.
He is among thousands of depositors who had to face humiliation and borrow from private lenders, amids job loss, closed business, and the lockdown despite their life’s savings stuck for no fault of theirs. And despite the huge protest, neither the Centre not the central bank seem to be in a hurry. What has angered the depositors is the swiftness which both showed in the resolution of Yes Bank, while leaving PMC depositors on their own.
After consumers moved the court, on May 28, the court had asked the Centre, the RBI and PMC Bank to solve the difficulties faced by the depositors during pandemic and requested raising the withdrawal limit.
However, the RBI told the Delhi High Court that it would not be possible to do so currently beyond the Rs 1 lakh.
The reason it cited was lack of liquidity as against a total deposit liability of Rs 10,000 crore as on March 26, 2020, liquid assets available with the PMC bank were to the tune of Rs 2,955.73 crore which is “grossly insufficient” to fully pay all its depositors. Meanwhile, the has not been much action from the finance ministry either.