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Nirmala Sitharaman Puts Out Appeal and Explainer in Reply to ‘Consume Poison’ Tweet on PMC Bank Crisis

Nirmala Sitharaman Puts Out Appeal and Explainer in Reply to ‘Consume Poison’ Tweet on PMC Bank Crisis

The RBI had on September 23 imposed regulatory restrictions on the PMC Bank for six months over alleged financial irregularities, which triggered protests by depositors and account holders of the cooperative lender.

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged a Twitter user on Monday to not write of “such extreme things” after the latter tweeted that “people are bound to consume poison" in the aftermath of the restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on the crisis-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank).

The RBI had on September 23 imposed regulatory restrictions on the PMC Bank for six months over alleged financial irregularities. The withdrawal limit for account holders was initially kept at Rs 1,000 per each customer for six months, which was later raised to Rs 10,000. The regulator also banned the cooperative from extending fresh loans or taking deposits. The restrictions had triggered protests by depositors and account holders of the cooperative lender.

To addresses such concerns, Sitharaman on Monday tweeted a helpline number.

Replying to the tweet, a Twitter user named Rakesh Bhat, who identifies himself as a social activist, demanded a quick resolution, saying “people are bound to consume poison and die”.

In reply, the finance minister sought to calm Bhat down and appeal against posting “extreme” messages. She further clarified that multi-state cooperative institutions do not come under the Ministry of Finance even though they are called banks.

Described as a multi-state cooperative banking entity founded in 1984 from a small room in Mumbai, the PMC Bank has grown to 137 branches in Maharashtra (103), Delhi (6), Karnataka (15), Goa (6), Gujarat (5) and Madhya Pradesh (2).

As per the RBI orders, the PMC Bank is debarred for six months from granting or renewing any loans and advances, making any investments, incurring any liability, including borrowal of funds or accept fresh deposits, etc., without prior written approval from the RBI.

As per the PMC Bank's latest annual report, it has deposits of over Rs 11,617 crore and loans/outstandings of Rs 8,383 crore.


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