Banks may allow withdrawal of Rs 2.5 lakh by the families with upcoming weddings from next week only after receiving operational guidelines from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), even though the Centre announced the relaxation last week. “In absence of operational guidelines from RBI, we are unable to give Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage purpose to each of the family (of bride and groom). We are awaiting direction from RBI,” Punjab National Bank Managing Director Usha Ananthasubramanian said.
“We expect the norms by Monday and hopefully by Tuesday, branches should start disbursing for marriage. We understand that the amount can be drawn only by either parents or the person getting married. Only one of them will be permitted to draw this amount. The limit of Rs 2.5 lakh will apply separately to the girl’s and the boy’s family,” she said.
Similarly, other banks are also not offering this facility in absence of directions from the RBI. According to a senior Corporation Bank official, “Withdrawal for marriage purpose can be availed only after the RBI’s notification which will have clear direction about the various formalities needed to be furnished by the customers for withdrawal.”
Last week, the Government had said it has been decided to permit families celebrating weddings to draw up to Rs 2.5 lakh in cash from their own bank accounts while encouraging families to incur wedding expenses through cheques or digital means. Following the announcement, families where marriage ceremonies are due started making beeline before the branches only to return empty handed as bank officials turned them away saying there is no direction from their head office or RBI in this regard.
This being the marriage season, people thronged the branches with all possible evidence for marriage and their identity proof to get much needed cash. With regard to PNB ATMs, Ananthasubramanian said that 2,000 out of 9,000 cash vending machines have been recalibrated and they are dispensing money.
By next week more ATMs would be recalibrated, which will ease the cash crunch. Asked if the surge in low-cost deposits by banks would translate into lower interest rate, she said, PNB is reviewing the situation and probably there would be cut in fixed deposit rate as early as today. The bank has got deposits of 47,000 crore since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 surprised citizens by announcing demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.