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Odisha alters bank letter

“There is no reason for anyone to get apprehensive about the financial health of the banks in general," says official

By Subhashish Mohanty in Bhubaneswar

  • Published 26.10.19, 2:22 AM
  • Updated 26.10.19, 2:22 AM
Reserve Bank of India headquarters in Mumbai
Reserve Bank of India headquarters in Mumbai Nichalp / Wikipedia

The Odisha government on Friday withdrew a directive that had asked public sector units and state-run departments to be “very careful” while keeping deposits in “any bank”.

Sources said the Naveen Patnaik government came under severe pressure from the Centre as well as the banking industry to withdraw the directive. “We had to withdraw it following a lot of complaints,” a senior official said.

A note issued by the principal secretary to the government (finance), A.K.K. Meena, on Friday said: “There is no reason for anyone to get apprehensive about the financial health of the banks in general.”

On October 21, the same official had issued a directive that referred to media reports about “the fiscal health” of some banks and added: “The government departments, PSUs or agencies have to be very careful while keeping deposits in any bank…. It shall be the personal responsibility of the concerned authority for such deposit.”

The Telegraph had reported about the letter on October 24. The letter was issued at a time the deposits of lakhs of people have been locked up in the PMC Bank in Maharashtra following a scam.

On Friday, the new directive from Meena said: “It is to be clarified that the state government does not have any view of the fiscal health of any particular bank. That comes under the domain of Reserve Bank of India.”

Meena’s note added: “The circular dated 21.10.2019 was only meant to avoid opening of new accounts by DDOs (drawing disbursing officers) and shifting of government funds meant for welfare and developmental activities of government without any reasons from one bank to another.”

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