The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday increased the withdrawal limit for customers of Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. More than 60% of the depositors of the bank will now be able to withdraw their entire account balance, the RBI said in a press release.
The central bank said the restrictions were relaxed to reduce the hardships of the depositors. “The Reserve Bank is closely monitoring the position and shall continue to take further steps as are necessary to safeguard the interest of the depositors of the bank,” the press release said.
On Tuesday, the RBI had imposed restrictions and said depositors will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1,000 from the bank for six months. The central bank had also said that PMC Bank would not be allowed to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds.
The restrictions were imposed because of alleged irregularities.
Police on Thursday said former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya and several other account holders of the bank earlier in the day filed complaints against top officials of the PMC Bank and realty developer Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd for allegedly looting Rs 3,000 crore belonging to the depositors, PTI reported.
In a written complaint with Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing, Somaiya alleged that the money of at least 9.12 lakh depositors of the PMC Bank was taken away by the top management along with HDIL.
“Out of Rs 8,000 crore advances, more than Rs 3,000 crore was given to HDIL and the group’s benami companies,” he told PTI. “Even after the HDIL defaulted, the bank gave it hundreds of crores of loans without any proper documentation,” he alleged.
He said the RBI should file a criminal complaint against officials concerned of HDIL and PMC Bank, and also asked for a full-fledged forensic audit of the bank’s transactions with the real estate firm.
Following the RBI’s decision, account holders had protested outside bank’s main branch in Mumbai’s Bhandup area and various other branches. Many had also lined up outside bank branches after the announcement.
The bank, founded in 1984, operates in Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It now has 137 branches in six states, and is among the top 10 cooperative banks in the country.
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