TURA, Oct 13 - Residents of Kharkutta in North Garo Hills have complained over the numerous problems faced by State Bank of India (SBI) account holders for over a year, as many have been deprived of banking privileges, including withdrawal of money and updation of passbooks.
Many bank customers spoke about their plight when United Democratic Party (UDP) youth president Anand Marak visited the area.
“There are operating with limited staff, making daily banking operations extremely slow. For people coming from far-off villages, this is extremely distressing as they don’t get transport back to their villages after spending the entire day at the bank and they have to come back the next day if their work is not done that day. For daily-wage earners, this is extreme torture,” said Marak.
Villagers said they could only withdraw between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 per day. “This is not enough for a family, which means that they have to make multiple visits to the bank branch,” the UDP leader said.
Marak said the biggest problem faced by SBI customers was that they are unable to update their passbooks. “When we asked the bank authorities, they said a passbook updating machine has been ordered. It has been more than two months now. We are not sure where is the machine,” said Marak.
The villagers also expressed doubt that their accounts were possibly being manipulated as they were unable to see what was happening. When asked to update the passbooks, the bank officials wrote the account balance with pens. “The account holders may be poor, but they are customers of the bank all the same,” said Marak.