Subir Sarkar, a bus conductor whose daughter Poonam’s marriage is on Monday may have to cancel the programme after the officials of a nationalised bank told them on Saturday that they have not received any instruction from the Reserve Bank of India that they can withdraw money up to Rs 2.5 lakh if they produce the invitation card for the wedding.
This was predicted by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would be banned on November 8 night that those who had fixed marriages of their children would face misery. Her apprehension came true.
A visibly annoyed Sarkar requested the bank officials to give Rs 35,000 from his account. But they declined on the ground that the Branch did not have adequate cash. Some of the officials advised him to postpone the ceremony. “If we cancel the function then it is considered unholy and I cannot do this to my daughter.”
Sarkar had kept Rs 2 lakh in his Savings Bank account at the Jagadishpur Makalpara Branch of State Bank of India for Poonam’s marriage. Local clubs, his colleagues and owners of the buses raised Rs 2.37 lakh for the wedding. Subir along with his wife Tulu on Saturday went to the bank in the morning.
To prove that their cause was genuine they had carried a letter written by the pradhan of local gram panchayat with them. “I wanted to deposit the money and withdraw money from my account as I will have to make advance payment to the decorator who is constructing the pandal and the caterer.
On returning home when he told the decorator that he could not make any advance payment, the decorator left without constructing the pandal. “I requested them with folded hands but they left. I had fixed my daughter’s marriage a year ago. What is my fault in this?” said Sarkar.
A similar incident happened with Sujata Routh, a resident of Howrah maidan who along with her mother Pinky were refused by the officials of the MG Road Branch of Bank of Baroda on the same ground.
They took the invitation card and to prove that their case was genuine, invited all the employees of the Branch. The officials pleaded their helplessness and assured that they would look into the matter.” What should we do now,” asked Pinky Routh, her mother.
The picture is same throughout Bengal. Parama Basu, Esha Mukherjee of Bagda in North 24 Parganas have no idea whether their wedding could be held on Monday or not. Their parents were refused by the banks and the caterers and decorators have said money should be paid in advance because they would have to buy flowers, oil, vegetables, fish from the market by paying cash.
“I have money but I cannot withdraw it. Does anyone have any right to stop me from using my own money? Is it not infringement on my right?” Prabir Mukherjee, Esha’s father wondered.