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PMC Bank Depositors Hold a Hunger Strike in Mumbai; Demand RBI Intervention

PMC Bank Depositors Hold a Hunger Strike in Mumbai; Demand RBI Intervention

Depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-Operative (PMC) Bank participated in a hunger strike near the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters at Fort, Mumbai. The depositors are urging the RBI to come up with a resolution that would give them access to their money deposited in the institution. 

Nikhil Vora, who is a member of the PMC Bank Depositors Association said - “They (RBI) are pushing us beyond limits but still we are trying to restrain ourselves with peaceful and democratic means to showcase our pathetic state. We don’t know when the police will be ordered to pick us up and throw us in jails. But that will not dilute our resolve to fight for our rights.” 

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Vora added that the stress of the uncertainty, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, has had an adverse effect on the depositors. “Since the time the restrictions were imposed on the bank, 95 people (depositors or their kin) have died, of which four died by suicide,” he said.

PMC depositors also pointed out that other financial institutions like Lakshmi Vilas Bank which were put under a moratorium, became operational immediately after whereas PMC customers are still unable to access their deposits. 

On the 23rd of September 2019, the RBI had restricted PMC Bank customers from withdrawing their deposits after it was revealed that PMC’s management had sanctioned 73 per cent of its loans to the Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) while also concealing the company’s non-performing assets. 

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The economic offences wing of Mumbai Police has so far arrested fifteen people in connection with the HDIL case including promoters Rakesh Wadhwan and Sarang Wadhwan as well as ex-chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas. Further, police officials have also filed three charge sheets in this case which explains the role played in the scam by the accused. 

The RBI had initially capped the withdrawal limit for PMC customers at ₹1,000. Subsequently, depositors were allowed to withdraw up to ₹50,000 over a six month period while the regulatory body eventually increased the limit to Rs 1 lakh until December 22, 2020. 

Around 37 per cent of the depositors in PMC Bank happen to be senior citizens. This whole ordeal has left them in a tough financial situation with no end in sight. Some depositors were informed by the RBI administrator that the documents of the assets mortgaged with the bank are incomplete, which meant that the auctioning has been put off and a resolution cannot be provided to the depositors. 

Also readPMC Bank Depositors Will Have To Pay Interest On Deposits Despite Having No Access To Their Money

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