THE THANE mayor on Thursday ordered that savings bank accounts of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) be shifted from private banks to nationalised banks. The decision was taken during a meeting with the civic body’s accounts department on Thursday.
The mayor, Shiv Sena’s Naresh Mhaske, also asked the department not to open any new account with any private bank. The TMC has several savings accounts and fixed deposits in Axis, HDFC and other private banks. A senior Shiv Sena corporator said a proposal regarding this is expected to be put up before the standing committee for a formal nod.
“There are several nationalised banks, some of them operating in Thane. If we keep our money there, we at least are sure of our money. The private banks are risky, and in the past few days, we have seen how they can go bankrupt. It is just a precautionary decision,” Mhaske told The Indian Express. He added that salary accounts of TMC employees would remain with private banks.
Maintaining that he does not intend to target any private bank, Mhaske said: “My apprehension is towards all private banks. I am not aware of the banks in which TMC has accounts.”
The private banks vs nationalised banks issue has gained currency in recent days following tweets from Amruta Fadnavis, wife of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, challenging the Sena leadership. This in turn had provoked tweets from Sena deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi and BMC’s Sena corporator Samadhan Sarvankar. Appealing to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that the accounts of the Maharashtra Police and the state government be shifted to nationalised banks, Sarvankar has tweeted “enough of patronage to Axis Bank”, indirectly hitting out at Fadnavis’ wife, an employee of Axis Bank.
The salary accounts of state police employees have been with Axis Bank since 2015, before Fadnavis took over as the chief minister. Sources in Mantralaya and the police said that no decision has been taken to pull their accounts from Axis Bank. Sena sources in Thane said that there was much anger against Amruta Fadnavis for “insulting” the party leadership, and the order to shift TMC’s savings accounts from private banks, including Axis, was to assuage the feelings of Shiv Sainiks on the ground.
TMC officials said the mayor has not only stopped new accounts from being opened in private banks but also asked the older accounts to be transferred to nationalised banks. “We have an annual FD, in which surplus money is added every year. There have also been some savings accounts since the last five years. The accounts are in different banks. We have been asked to shift them to nationalised banks,” an official said. When contacted, Thane Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal said he was not aware of any such decision taken by the mayor.
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