Anurag Thakur, BJP member in the Lok Sabha, today demanded a roll back of withdrawal charges proposed by certain banks and the three per cent tax levied by financial institutions on credit card payments, a demand which was raised by the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Participating in a debate on supplementary demands for grants (general) and the appropriations bills, 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. He also listed out the achievements of the Modi government and said that over one crore people have so far downloaded the BHIM app, the Aadhaar based e-payment application.
The demand to scrap the decision to penalise non- maintenance of minimum balance of Rs 5,000 by the State Bank of India (SBI) was also made by the CPI(M) in the Upper House today, which was supported by the entire opposition.
India’s leading private banks like HDFC, ICIC and Axis charge a minimum of Rs 150 for cash deposits and withdrawals at bank branches after four free transactions each month.
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SBI, the country’s largest public sector bank, has also announced charging Rs 10 rupees (excluding service tax) beyond five ATM withdrawals for its customers.
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 Rs 5,000 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.