From Our Correspondent, Shillong News | Tura, March 14, 2018:
The All Achik Youth Federation (AAYF) – Assam Zone has expressed their anguish towards the alleged negligence shown by the Assam government towards the Garo community while asking the state government to hand over development of the community to the state of Meghalaya.
State Bank of India has closed as many as 41.16 lakh savings accounts between April-January in the current fiscal year for not maintaining the average monthly balance, reveals an RTI query.
Last April, the nation’s largest lender had re-introduced the penal charges on non-maintenance of average monthly balance after a gap of five years. Later in October, it had revised down the charges to some extent.
“Due to provisions of penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank has closed 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts between April 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018,” the bank replied to an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.
Even though the reply was furnished by the state-run lender on February 28, 2018, the bank today steeply reduced the penal charges on not maintaining the minimum balance.
The reply was to a specific query on the number of accounts being closed after introduction of charges on non- maintenance of minimum balance from April 1, 2017.
The State Bank has 41 crore savings bank accounts. Of that, 16 crore are under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana/basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) and of pensioner, minors, social security benefit holders which are all exempted from the penalty for not maintaining of the minimum balance.
Between April and November 2017, the bank had netted a windfall of Rs 1,771.67 crore, more than its second quarter profit, from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance, according to the finance ministry data.
On Tuesday, the lender reduced its charges for non- maintenance of average monthly balance by up to 75 per cent.
The bank has reduced the penal charges for non- maintenance of AMB in the metros and urban centres from a maximum of Rs 50 per month plus taxes at 18 per cent to Rs 15 a month and taxes. For urban and metro customers average monthly balance is of Rs 3,000 per month.
For semi-urban and rural centres, the charges have been reduced from Rs 40 to Rs 12, and Rs 10 per, respectively. The MBA requirement for semi-urban area is Rs 2,000, while for rural centres is Rs 1,000.
The bank offers its customers the option to shift from regular savings accounts to BSBD accounts on which no charges are levied, he added.
I would like to draw your attention to the employment issues that the youth are facing in Northeast India.With the development taking its toll in Shillong, the employment sectors have seemed to lose its way.
Many of the youth are not being able to come up with opportunities due to which they have chosen to travel abroad or are sometimes forced to opt for illegal ways to earn livelihood.
Let us take the example of the 8 GNLA cadres who surrendered recently in Shillong. The question to be asked here is that if these young people really wanted to become militants and fight for their rights, they would have continued their fight even after the death of Sohan D Shira. But the very fact that they surrendered proves that they chose the path of insurgency due to lack of viable opportunity to earn a dignified living. Isn’t there enough source of employment where they can earn their livelihood? The answer is No
Can this also be the reason causing increase in crimes prevailing not only within the state but also in numerous parts of the country? Few days back I came across news where few youth were arrested in a smuggling case in Guwahati. Such kind of incidents are rising with each passing day. In future it may become a serious issue and it is better to tackle this problem as our first priority. As it said “Prevention is better than cure”.
Preetty Chambugong Marak
You can also contribute articles and opinions for our website by mailing them to us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org