The government has allowed the small depositors of crisis-hit PMC Bank to withdraw their entire deposits, even as measures are being taken to soon repay all the depositors, finance minister Nirmala Sitharmaan said in Parliament on Monday. However, the ceiling of Rs 50,000 on withdrawal from deposits continues, Nirmala Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour on Monday. In case of medical emergencies, marriages and other crisis situations, up to Rs 1 lakh can be withdrawn by invoking the ‘hardship provisions’ of the RBI, Nirmala Sitharaman also said in the Parliament.
"Nearly 78 depositors are now allowed to withdraw their entire account balance. They are small depositors. With this, the concerns of all small depositors are take care of," Nirmala Sitharaman said. The government is taking steps to seize properties of promoters of the Maharashtra-based bank and auction the properties so as to pay back depositors, she added.
RBI had imposed withdrawal restrictions on account-holders after it found alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore due to diversion of money to infrastructure firm HDIL. However, it later increased the cash withdrawal limit to Rs 50,000 per account, which was the fourth such increase since PMC Bank was placed under its direct control. Ever since the scam came to light, five persons, including HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan, have been arrested by the police in the case. Several protests have been held by the depositors in Mumbai and at least 10 depositors have died since the alleged scam came to light. Scattered protests have happened in front of the RBI main office in Delhi as well.