Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday faced irate depositors of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank and promised to bring in legislative changes for upholding their interests.
She also assured the aggrieved depositors that she would talk to RBI governor Shaktikanta Das and convey the urgency displayed by PMC Bank customers. She also told the irate depositors that the RBI is looking into the matter. The depositors had gathered outside the BJP's office in Mumbai ahead of Sitharaman's scheduled press interaction in the run-up to the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections.
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.
“I have asked the secretaries of my ministry both the Department of Economic Affairs and Banking Secretary to work together with the rural development ministry and the urban development ministry to make sure that multistate co-operatives which also run banks, I have asked the secretaries of the ministry to study in detail as to what is happening,” she added.
"They will discuss legislative steps needed to prevent such incidents from happening and empower the regulator better," Sitharaman said.
The BJP-led government will try and bring in a legislation to this effect in the winter session of Parliament, she said.
The PMC Bank was put under "directions" by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last month due to weak financial health, wherein the central bank has capped the deposit withdrawals at Rs 25,000. PMC is in bad health allegedly due to its exposure to the near-bankrupt realty player HDIL, to which it has loaned over 70 percent of its Rs 9,000 crore in advance.