P Chidambaram says Rs 150 bank cash transaction charge a most retrograde step

By: | Updated: March 6, 2017 12:16 AM

The move by some public and private banks to levy charges after certain number of cash transactions at branches is the most retrograde step, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said.

The move to re-impose a fee on cash transactions was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive. (PTI)

The move by some public and private banks to levy charges after certain number of cash transactions at branches is the most retrograde step, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said. Banks including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at present charge a minimum Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month. “Bank charges for depositing cash and withdrawing cash is most retrograde step,” Chidambaram tweeted. “Will banks be happy if customers withdraw cash in one go and keep cash at home,” the senior Congress leader said posted on Twitter. The move to re-impose a fee on cash transactions was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.

Another entity that has come out against the levy today is the Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which urged Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to scrap charges levied by some public and private banks after certain number of cash transactions at branches. “Recently, some private and public banks have announced cash transaction charges on their account holders beyond stipulated number of cash transactions,” said RCCI president Sameer Shah in a letter to Jaitley. “After almost four months since demonetisation, things remain unsettled at ground level. Marginal businessmen, poor and middle class people are still at receiving end. Almost on daily and weekly basis, some new rules are introduced,” he claimed.

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“We, as an apex industry body of the district, are receiving complaints from our members regarding obstacles being created in the form of new measures,” he claimed. “The bank should reduce their administrative expenditure and NPAs to earn more, but it is ridiculous to levy charges on cash transactions,” he said. Private banks like HDFC and ICICI, as well as public banks like SBI recently announced that they will levy fees of Rs 150 on deposit or withdrawal of cash from the savings accounts at bank branches beyond four to five times in a month.

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