The disappointment of ‘PMC depositors with over ₹5 lakh deposits, with the draft scheme announced by the RBI’ will be shared by one and all. Though the said bank’s amalgamation with Unity Small Finance Bank is welcome, demonstrating RBI’s resolve ‘not to allow any bank to go under’, the staggered refund to those having deposits of more than ₹5 lakh and non-payment of interest for five years is patently unfair. When depositors have no say in how a bank deploys their funds, to penalise them for its mismanagement is akin to ‘biting the hand that feeds one’.
Depositors, especially senior citizens, invest their life time savings in the nearest bank, due to convenience of operations. They cannot be expected to keep track of their bank’s performance, saddled as they are with a plethora of age and health related problems. At the very least, the RBI and the government should ensure repayment of their deposits, in full, in the event of a bank failure. A solution may be to provide unlimited DICG cover on all bank deposits, with the premium borne by the banks concerned.
This refers to the report ‘PMC depositors with over ₹5 lakh disappointed with draft scheme’ (November 23). Post-PMC fiasco, it has to be said in favour of the central and state government and the banking regulator that sincere efforts were made to control a situation in the banking sector which could have become chaotic.
Having said that, decades of delay in reviewing Deposit Insurance cover and the failure in timely detection of cracks in the supervisory and regulatory system responsible for overseeing cooperative banks which became public with the fall of PMC Bank should remain lessons for all time to come.
Ideally, as the depositors of PMC Bank have no ownership rights or responsibilities, technically, even if the PMC Bank or its successor bank is not able to honour the commitments in the near future, their deposits in the PMC Bank should continue to earn interest at contracted rates during the contracted periods.
New opportunity for farm sector
The repeal of farm laws must be seen as an opportunity to turn a new page. Our farmers have consistently produced in surplus despite years of drag imposed by vote bank politics, pitiful support infrastructure and loan waivers that never benefited the marginal farmer.
Give our farmer freedom to grow his choice produce, a fast transit of his goods across States and even as the consumer is happy with a fair price, government must look into the delivery of inputs and not play arbiter over export control or pricing.
It is time to focus on infrastructure, research and water management.
Set direction to optimise agro-productivity, establish nodal agro-processing systems that can profitably utilise perishable agro produce and streamline competitive agro-marketing.
This refers to the recent reports after the repeal of the three farm laws. The proposed panel to address MSP must really look at the entire gamut of issues relating to agriculture. There is a need to craft policies and programmes that will lead to sustainable farming. The current trends in terms of water and power consumption, GHG emissions, regional imbalance, distorted crop choice (due to MSP) cannot continue. Crop choice and farm practices must address these and nutrition needs of the population.
Alongside, policies must address and prevent leakages as described in ‘Checking recycled PDS grains can save Centre ₹24,000 cr’ (November 22). One hopes the panel can help transform agriculture.