Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday assured Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank account holders that the government and RBI were on an urgent basis looking to resolve the ongoing restrictions imposed. Sitharaman was accosted by bank holders outside the BJP office in Mumbai where she arrived to address the media on the performance of the Devendra Fadnavis government ahead of the elections.
"I will talk to the RBI Governor once again this evening and convey the sense of urgency and distress that the clients of PMC expressed before me," Sitharaman said.
She, however, reiterated that the Finance Ministry had no role to play in the on-going investigation into alleged irregularities in the functioning of the bank. "The Finance Ministry may have nothing to do with it directly because the RBI is the regulator. But, from my side, I have asked the secretaries of my ministry to study in detail what is happening," she said.
She added that RBI representatives would be present in the meeting to understand the shortcomings, what happened and, if necessary, look at ways in which respective Acts can be amended.
The Finance Minister said the government could bring a legislation in the winter session of Parliament to improve governing of cooperative banks. "If amendments are going to help us curb or regulate malpractices or better empower the RBI itself, we would like to do it," 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 per cent of its Rs 9,000 crore in advances.