Mumbai, November 02: Taking note of the enormity in the matter of the PMC bank scam, RBI Board member Satish Marathe has affirmed that it is unfair to totally blame the Reserve Bank of India for the crisis and that RBI acts as the soldier on frontier.
"The RBI has taken ethical, correct and diligent action in order to protect the interests of the depositors. Although it is not articulated properly, people need to have trust in the apex institution and the government", he said.
"If anything in the banking sector goes wrong, it is always first noticed in the organisation. But the starnge thing in PMC bank scam appeared to be that none of the members realised the arising menace or those who realised, kept quite. They only spoke out after RBI took action", he claimed.
However, he also said that the action taken by the RBI was not at all harsh and that it had only restricted the withdrawl limits for depositors. "This is the standard operating practice across the world, known as 'Green Fencing'. The action was initiated to trap the fraudsters. They would have taken out all the funds if withdrawl were still allowed", he said silently assuring that the depositors money was safe.
Further, he said that to decide the time frame for returning the money back to the depositors was a bit difficult as the Forensic Audit is still underway. "The bank has been large and it has more than 30 branches. Though people want the decision to process fast, the final report is yet to arrive", he said confirming that the decision would be given only after detailed inspection in the case.
The Reserve Bank of India on September 24 imposed a six month ban on the Mumbai based Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Limited on the charges of irregularities, further issuing a special guideline to monitior all the transactions of the said bank affecting the depositors at large.
Unfolding the catastrophe, the bank befor Diwali raised the withdrawl limit upto Rs 40000 where 77 per cent of the depositors managed to safely get their money back. While the investigations in the said case are still underway, Mumbai Economic Offences Wing has launched a manhut to nab the PMC Bank Director accused of helping clear loans to the fraudster.