Demonetisation deaths: Consumer Affairs dept asks RBI to give compensation to next of kin
The state Consumer Affairs department has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take steps to provide compensation to the next to the kin of the people who died after falling ill while standing in long queues for hours outside banks after prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation.
The RBI officials urged the state government to give a letter in this regard against which they would take up the matter with their higher authorities and the compensation would be given if they get the necessary clearance. At the same time, the officials have agreed that it is possible to supply only 40 per cent of the total required money with four mints including one at Salboni in Bengal functioning in full force.
Sadhan Pande, the state Consumer Affairs minister, held a meeting with representatives of RBI and 13 banks on Thursday.
During the meeting, the minister raised several issues related to harassment of account holders due to demonetisation.
It may be mentioned eight persons were killed in the state while standing for long hours in queues outside a bank to withdraw money. The state government had given jobs to the next to the kin of two of such victims.
Thursday’s meeting of the representatives of the banks with Pande has also brought RBI’s inability to supply the required amount of money to light. They told in the meeting that at present, only 40 per cent of the required currency could be supplied and it would take some time to supply the rest 60 per cent.
The minister also raised the issues like harassment of the people as all the ATMs were not yet calibrated and the most are not functioning round-the-clock. Moreover, the people are still getting Rs 5,000 to Rs 1,000 from branches of their banks when they are supposed to get Rs 24,000.
At the same time, citing excuse of the work load due to demonetisation, other important works in the banks have come to a standstill.
Pande also asked the bank officials to ensure that senior citizens should not face any trouble when they visit the banks. The bank officials assured steps in this regard.
In reply to a question, he said that the state Consumer Affairs department would take necessary legal steps if anyone lodges complaint against any bank alleging failure to provide assured services or causing unnecessary harassment.