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Withdraw cash transaction charges: MPs
Cutting across party lines, MPs in both Houses of Parliament on Monday demanded withdrawal of new charges imposed by banks on cash transactions. In the Lok Sabha, BJP MP Anurag Thakur demanded roll back of withdrawal charges proposed by banks and the three per cent tax levied by financial institutions on credit card payments. In Rajya Sabha, CPIM) MPs led by Tapan Sen also blamed the banks for such anti-people measures.
Participating in a debate on supplementary demands for grants, Thakur said the decision to charge the customers for withdrawal of money does not augur well. “Also, why should a three per cent tax be levied on credit card payments. This is not a good idea,” he said.
The demand to scrap the decision to penalise non- maintenance of minimum balance of Rs5,000 by the State Bank of India (SBI) was also made by the CPI(M) in the Upper House on Monday, which was supported by the entire opposition. CPI(M) member K K Ragesh said in Rajya Sabha that the SBI has raised the monthly average balance to be maintained in saving bank accounts to Rs5,000 from Rs 500 and will levy penalty for not adhering to it.
The move will hit 31 crore depositors, he said, adding that the SBI being the largest bank in the country is likely to be followed by other banks also. “It (the decision) is not going to affect the rich, but will hit the poor people,” he said, adding the State-owned banks were facing a crisis due to rising bad loans or NPAs.
He said the Government was not taking stringent action against the corporate defaulters and went on to term the SBI’s decision as “loot of the people of the country.”
“It is not in the interest of the country,” he said urging the Government to intervene and ask the SBI to withdraw the decision. Almost the entire Opposition supported the demand, with Tapan Sen (CPI-M) stating that a discussion on the issue should be allowed.
India’s leading private banks like HDFC, ICIC and Axis charge a minimum of Rs150 for cash deposits and withdrawals at bank branches after four free transactions each month. SBI, the country’s largest public sector bank, has also announced charging Rs10 rupees (excluding service tax) beyond five ATM withdrawals for its customers.
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