Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the government would ensure that Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank depositors' concerns are "comprehensively addressed". The comments came after Nirmala Sitharaman met Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das to discuss the PMC Bank matter, following her meeting with customers of the cooperative bank outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in Mumbai on Friday. "He (the RBI Governor) assured me that clients and their concerns will be kept on top priority," the Finance Minister said on Twitter. (Also read: PMC Bank Scam - Police Custody Of HDIL Directors Extended)
Spoken to governor @RBI on the #PMCBank matter. He assured me that clients & their concerns will be kept on top priority. I wish to reiterate that @FinMinIndia will ensure that customers concerns are comprehensively addressed. We understand the justified worries of the customers.Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) October 12, 2019
"We understand the justified worries of the customers," the Finance Minister said on Saturday. Ms Sitharaman had earlier said the government is considering amending laws to curb malpractices at the country's co-operative banks, following allegations of fraud in PMC Bank.
PMC Bank is facing a crisis after an alleged scam worth Rs 4,500 crore came to light last month. The cooperative bank had allegedly lent over 70 per cent of its loans worth Rs 9,000 crore to near-bankrupt realty player HDIL.
The PMC Bank case has sparked renewed concerns about the health of the country's banking sector, which is struggling against more than Rs. 10 lakh crore of non-performing assets or bad loans.
The Reserve Bank of India this month raised the withdrawal limit for PMC Bank account holders to Rs. 25,000 from Rs. 10,000, saying that the move would enable more than 70 per cent of the depositors to withdraw their entire balance.
The country's financial system has been rocked by a Rs. 13,000-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank and the collapse of IL&FS - one of India's biggest non-banking finance companies - last year. IL&FS has said it aims to resolve 50 per cent of its debt by March 2020.
More than two dozen co-operative banks are now under the RBI administration, but PMC Bank - with deposits of Rs 11,620 crore as of March 31 - is by far the largest.