On Thursday, the government announced that families which have marriages coming up can withdraw up to 2.5 lakh from their bank accounts. The idea was to provide relief to the public with the marriage season at .
But are banks allowing the 'marriage withdrawals’? The Quint finds out.
I accompanied my colleague Sahasranshu Mahapatra, who is getting married this month, to the ICICI bank branch in Noida’s Sector 18, where he has an account. We were immediately stopped at the gate of the bank. When we informed the bank staffer that we have come for a ‘marriage withdrawal’, we were given an excuse immediately.
We don’t have enough cash to allow a marriage withdrawal.Bank Staffer 1, ICICI Bank
After we persistently requested him to allow us inside the bank so that we can talk to the bank manager, he let us in.
We then met a second bank employee. We told him that we urgently needed money as the marriage is scheduled this month. In response, we got a curt reply.
We have not received any intimation or circular from the top. So, we can’t allow the withdrawal.Bank Staffer 2, ICICI Bank
We informed him that the RBI has already sent out a circular to all banks about the ‘marriage withdrawals’. We also showed him a copy of the circular. Left speechless on seeing the circular, he directed us to a third bank employee.
'We haven’t got the RBI format yet’
The Quint has accessed the circular sent to all banks on the so-called marriage withdrawals. This is what it says:
It has been decided to permit families celebrating weddings to draw up to Rs 2,50,000 lakh in cash from their own bank accounts. These accounts have to be necessarily KYC compliant. The amounts can be drawn only by either of the parents or the person getting married. Only one of them will be permitted to draw this amount. This limit of Rs 2,50,000 will apply separately to the girl’s family and the boy’s family. The person drawing such amount has to furnish the PAN details. Further, a self-declaration will have to be submitted by the person to the effect that only one person from his/her family is drawing the amount.
Then, a third bank staffer came up with yet another excuse.
We haven’t got the RBI format. We are not refusing money to you.Bank staffer no. 3, ICICI Bank
In no time, this employee disappeared. We then spoke to a fourth staffer who told us that the upper limit for withdrawal was still fixed at Rs 24,000.
Right now, the upper limit for bank withdrawals is Rs 24,000. The change in the limit will take some time.Bank staffer no. 4, ICICI Bank
Soon, a woman employee joined us and said that the RBI had not yet sent the guidelines to the banks for ‘marriage withdrawals’. Without these, she said, banks cannot allow it. She requested us to leave behind our contact numbers.
After spending almost an hour and speaking to several bank staffers, we couldn’t withdraw money. From “no cash” to “no withdrawal format” to “no RBI circular”, all kinds of excuses were given to us by the bank.
Same Story at Govt Bank
We next visited the Indian Bank branch in Noida’s Sector 18 to find out whether they are allowing the ‘marriage withdrawals’. But here too we were turned down on the ground that “the RBI has not updated the system”.
We have not got any format from the RBI so far. We can’t allow a ‘marriage withdrawal’. The problem is at RBI’s end. Till now, the upper limit for withdrawal is Rs 24,000. It has not been raised. We don’t know when the RBI will raise it. We don’t have a cash shortage. We still don’t know what documents would be required for a marriage withdrawal. The RBI will send the format as soon as they raise the limit.Indian Bank staffer
So, after doing the rounds of banks and meeting scores of employees, we could not manage to make a ‘marriage withdrawal’.
The government may have promised to ease the troubles faced by families with upcoming marriages. But clearly, the plan is not being implemented by banks and the public’s suffering continue.
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam