EMI cut by banks stings pensioners

EMI cut by banks stings pensioners
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A large number of pensioners, who have borrowed loans from the banks, were in for a rude shock on April 3, the day when the amount was credited in their accounts.

Hyderabad: A large number of pensioners, who have borrowed loans from the banks, were in for a rude shock on April 3, the day when the amount was credited in their accounts.

Much to their shock they not only received half the pension amount, but the banks also deducted EMI repayments, even though 3-month 'moratorium' is in effect due to the lockdown.

"My husband is a pensioner and his monthly drawings are Rs 22,000 per month. The moment PPO office credited half pension in account, the bank has taken away the remaining amount as EMI repayment leaving only Rs 400 behind as closing balance," said Ayesh Begum, a resident of Kings Colony, Shastripuram, much to her disbelief.

Explaining that their subsistence and medical expenses solely depend on the pension her husband received every month, she said, "Only three months ago we borrowed a personal loan from SBI to pay medical expenses of my husband who was hospitalised.

Even before we could overcome the adversities, the lockdown was imposed. More distressful is the announcement made by the government slashing 50 per cent pension amount that has left us in complete in despair," she bemoaned.

Similar is the case of people who have purchased electronic gadgets choosing loan option. "I have purchased a mobile phone by obtaining a loan from IDFC Bank only last year for which Rs 2,055 was fixed as my EMI every month.

As the lockdown was imposed I purchased some essential commodities leaving only Rs 2,500 behind in my account to use it when in need thinking that the 'moratorium' on EMIs is enforced and the EMI will not be deducted this month.

However, I was bewildered to know through message that my EMI was deducted," said Syed Abdul Khaleeq of Puranapul.

Though three months of moratorium was announced by the government, bank authorities say that this is completely an optional service. "If someone wants to avail of this facility, they must visit the bank's online portal and make a request for the moratorium facility," said a bank official.

"The bank authorities are misleading the pensioners. It is optional for the customer but not for the banks. It is mandatory instruction from the Reserve Bank of India following a direction from the Government of India.

The instruction from the central government says not to deduct EMIs from the employees and pensioners who have borrowed loans from their respective banks" said Sai Prasad, a retired IRS officer.

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