Prime Minister’s Office Turns My Letter About Profiteering by Indian Banks into a Petition

Directs Ministry of Finance to take ‘action as appropriate’

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has turned my letter to the Honorable Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi into a petition and directed the Ministry of Finance to ‘take action as appropriate’. It is heartening to see the Prime Minister exhibit such an agile approach to fulfilling his economic vision of a prosperous India.

My letter dated May 26th, 2014 addressed to Shri Narendra Modi ji outlined several areas where banks in India are profiteering, contributing to higher inflation and making Indian industry uncompetitive. Banks charge excessive fees for making pay orders, RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), for foreign currency transactions and several other services. Many banks seem to even charge money for counting currency! I also stated in my letter that banks should be more forthcoming about lending to salaried individuals, who are often a better credit risk compared to large industrialists. Many powerful industrialists get loans using their political clout and eventually get them written off. There are several other areas including taxation, foreign exchange remittance, entrepreneurship and laws that work against the interest of small entrepreneurs that I mentioned in my letter. I also suggested that credit card interest rates must be brought down to a very reasonable level to encourage more inclusive usage of credit cards. This in turn would prevent tax evasion, especially in the restaurant industry. Wider credit card usage can also raise production, introduce economies of scale and make Indian industry more competitive.

This is the reply from the PMO received today.

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