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PMC Bank: Sitharaman Faces Protesters; Promises Legislation

The depositors had gathered outside the BJP's office here ahead of FM Nirmala Sitharaman's scheduled press interaction.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday faced irate depositors of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, and promised to bring in legislative changes for upholding of their interests.

The depositors had gathered outside the BJP's office here ahead of Sitharaman's scheduled press interaction in the run up to the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections.

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.

At the press interaction, Sitharaman said secretaries from the department of financial services and economic affairs will be meeting a deputy governor of RBI soon to look into the "shortcomings" of the functioning of multi-state cooperative banks and see if any amendments can be made to the laws.

"They will discuss legislative steps needed to prevent such incidents from happening and empower the regulator better," Sitharaman said.

The BJP-led government will bring in a legislation to this effect in the winter session of Parliament, she said.

The minister said she will speak to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das about the interest of the depositors and convey their urgency and distress.

She also told the irate depositors that the RBI is looking into the matter.


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