Rajender Bharadwaj, a resident of Vasant Kunj, whose daughter is getting married on December 2, breathed easy after learning that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had permitted withdrawal of up to ₹2.5 lakh in cash from bank accounts for weddings. But his excitement was short-lived.
After standing in a queue outside a State Bank of India branch in south Delhi for three hours, Bharadwaj could not withdraw the money as he failed to fulfil certain conditions laid down by the RBI.
The first condition is money can only be withdrawn from the credit balance as on November 8, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.
Second, money can be withdrawn only if the wedding date is on or before December 30, 2016. The application should be accompanied by evidence of the wedding such as invitation card, copies of receipts for advance payments already made.
Then the cash withdrawn should be used only to make payment to those persons who do not have bank accounts and the names of such recipients should be mentioned in the application.
“The banker told me I need to show receipts for the payments. How will I show them receipts of vegetables, oil and edible items when the whole seller does not provide it. There are many expenses in weddings for which no record is maintained. I need cash in hand for emergency,” he said.
“What If the transport I had booked denies service at the last moment? How will I show them receipt for juta chori rasm (hiding shoes) ritual? The vendors have bank accounts but are still asking for cash because they say that they too have to make payment to other parties in cash,” he added.
Many bankers said people are not turning up due to the strict riders.
A bank manger at a State Bank of India branch in south Delhi said, “We could make full payment of Rs2.5 lakh only to two people today, while three were returned because they did not fulfil the criteria.”
Similarly, a bank manager at a SBI branch in central Delhi said no people came forward to ask for money for wedding due to the stricter rules imposed.
A manager at Indian Bank said, “One woman on Tuesday asking for ₹2.5 lakh as her daughter was getting married on December 8. She came just with a wedding card. We had no option but to turn her back,” he said.
“RBI is asking for a detailed list of persons to whom the cash will be paid, together with a declaration from them that they do not have a bank account. The list should indicate the purpose for which the proposed payments are being made. Now will anybody look after preparations or collect receipts?,” he added.
A banker at an SBI branch said, “Why should a people go through a grilling session to take out their own money, that too to meet an important requirement.”
“Even our work is suffering because a staff has to spend hours with people coming for such a requirement, he added.
A senior official of the bank association said the guidelines had been laid so that people do not withdraw money in the garb of weddings. “It is very easy to get wedding cards printed in Delhi,” he added.