Kalimpong, Oct. 26: The GNLF (C) and CPM have alleged that pensioners here are not getting loans from the local branch of the State Bank of India — thanks to a treasury office notice.
Quoting state government rules, the notice sent to the Kalimpong branch of the SBI instructs the bank “not to sanction loan against pension account/not to deduct any loan EMI from pension account as the pension account is a single purpose savings account…”
The parties have urged Kalimpong treasury officer Joyasish Ghosh to reconsider his order since most of the pensioners meet their unforeseen expenses from the personal loan sanctioned by banks.
Col (retd) D.K. Pradhan, the GNLF (C) president, and Tara Sundas, the CPM’s Kalimpong unit secretary, met Ghosh today. Pradhan said the treasury officer seemed to have taken the step on the basis of an incident in which a bank continued to deduct EMIs for a loan from a pensioner’s account months after his death. “His death was apparently not intimated to the bank or to the treasury office,” Pradhan said.
The local unit of the state employees pensioners’ association has 400 members.
The treasury officer, however, denied that he had instructed the bank to stop sanctioning loans to pensioners. “The banks can offer loans to pensioners at their own discretion. What we have said is that the bank should not sanction loans against pension accounts,” Ghosh said.
The treasury notice also asked the bank not to issue ATM/Debit cards to pension account holders. Ghosh said recently a grandson of a pensioner withdrew all his money from the pension account with an ATM card. “In such a situation, we are helpless.”