State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) has recovered Rs 170 crore from customers who do not maintain minimum balance in their accounts. The bank gave this information on the information sought under Right to Information (RTI). These figures are for the last financial year 2020-21. During the financial year 2019-20, this figure was Rs 286.24 crore. The bank charges such fee on quarterly basis in a financial year.
In the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21, the bank recovered Rs 35.46 crore as Quarterly Average Balance (QAB). In the second quarter of the last financial year, the bank did not levy any such charges. Similarly, the bank has recovered Rs 48.11 crore in the third quarter and Rs 86.11 crore in the fourth quarter.
Rs 74.28 crore collected as ATM fee
Madhya Pradesh’s social worker Chandrashekhar Gaur had sought information about this from the bank under RTI. Apart from this, the bank raised Rs 74.28 crore as ATM fee in the last financial year, while in 2019-20, the bank had raised Rs 114.08 crore from this fee.
In the first quarter of the last financial year, following the instructions of the government, the bank had waived the ATM fee. In response to another question, the bank said that as of June 30, 2021, 4,27,59,597 accounts were inactive. At the same time 13,37,48,857 accounts were active.
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There has been criticism of recovering huge amount due to minimum balance
There is a lot of criticism for charging huge amounts from those who are not able to maintain minimum balance in their bank accounts. For this, it is argued that a large number of people who are unable to maintain minimum balance in the bank are financially weak people. The country has been battling the problem of slow growth rate for many years continuously. In the financial year 2020-21, the country’s GDP growth rate has been negative. Due to which not only unemployment has increased, but those who have got employment, their income has also declined.