The ministry of finance on Tuesday clarified that public sector banks (PSBs) have intimated they are not going to raise bank charges in the near future in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry's statement comes after several media reports citing steep increase in service charges by certain PSBs surfaced.
No service charge is applicable on the 60.04 crore Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts, including 41.13 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened by the poor segments of the society, as per the statement.
It further said for regular savings account, current accounts, cash credit accounts, and overdraft accounts, in various PSBs, while the charges have not been increased, the Bank of Baroda (BoB) had made certain changes with effect from November 1, 2020 as per the number of free cash deposits and withdrawals allowed per month.
"The number of free cash deposits and withdrawals, have been reduced from 5 each per month to 3 each per month, with no change in the charges for transactions in excess of these free transactions," it said as per the changes made by the BoB.
However, it added, "BoB has since informed that in the light of the current COVID related situation, they have decided to withdraw the changes.
"Further, no other PSB has increased such charges recently."
It further clarified that as per Reserve Bank of India guidelines, all banks, including PSBs, are permitted to levy charges for their services in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner, based upon costs involved.
It then went on to add, "Other PSBs have also intimated that they do not propose to raise bank charges in the near future in view of the COVID pandemic."
Photograph: Ajay Verma/Reuters