Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday met the aggrieved customers of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank. Amid the protests by depositors in the Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam case, a number of agitated depositors had barged into the BJP's Mumbai office on Thursday ahead of Sitharaman's visit to the office.
Sitharaman, who was to hold a press conference on the Maharashtra elections, had to delay the media briefing and spoke to the protesters. She assured them that she would talk to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das about allowing PMC customers to withdraw their money and convey to him the urgency of the matter.
"Once again this evening, I shall talk to him (RBI governor) and convey the sense of urgency and distress that the clients of PMC have expressed before me and I shall request him to expedite the clearing of or giving permission for withdrawal of their monies which are deposited," the minister said.
Sitharaman said she also explained to PMC bank customers that RBI is doing what is to be done by law.
"Finance Ministry may have nothing to do with it (PMC bank matter) directly because RBI is the regulator. But from my side, I've asked the secretaries of my ministry to work with Rural Development Ministry & Urban Development Ministry to study in detail as to what is happening," Sitharaman said.
She, however, added said that the government will actively engage with concerned authorities to resolve the problems that customers of PMC are facing. The finance minister also indicated that the government, after studying the PMC Bank fraud in detail, may come out with a fresh amendment to curb such incidents of fraud in the winter session of the parliament.
"I've asked the secretaries of the ministry to study in detail as to what is happening. Representatives of RBI will also be there to understand shortcomings, what happened, and also to therefore, if necessary, look at the ways in which the respective Acts will have to be amended," Sitharaman said.