PMC Bank Crisis: Odisha Asks Depts To Check Bank Health Before Depositing Funds

Bhubaneswar: Citing news reports flagging doubts over safety of deposits in some banks, the Odisha government has directed its departments, PSUs and other agencies to be ‘very careful’ while keeping deposits in any bank and make proper enquiry about the financial health of the concerned banks.

A directive issued by the state finance department, under the head “precaution to be taken when depositing government funds in banks” said that it shall be the personal responsibility of the concerned authority for such deposits.

At present Odisha government has empanelled 17 PSU banks, eight private banks, two regional rural banks, a cooperative bank and a small finance bank for handling business and deposits of state PSUs and autonomous societies.

The government has reminded the agencies that the funds for state-run schemes should be used “directly from treasury through IFMS (integrated finance management system) without being parked in any bank account”.

Apart from that it has also been reiterated that withdrawal of money from treasury without sufficient grounds (such as immediate need for utilisation…) and depositing the same in bank account shall be construed as a financial irregularity.

The government’s note of caution comes close on the heels of a crisis in PMC Bank in Maharashtra following an alleged scam that has prevented lakhs of people from withdrawing their deposits.

“Various departments of the government are asked not to withdraw money from treasury and deposit them in banks. When there is necessity, the departments should withdraw money from treasury and directly utilise it. The CAG report pointed out that several departments are depositing money in the banks. Therefore, we have issued a caution letter not to park government funds in banks,” Ashok Meena, principal secretary of the finance department, said.