Days after reports said some banks will start charging for deposit and withdrawal of money, the Finance Ministry issued a clarification saying that there has been no increase in service charges by any public sector bank. Reports had it that Bank of Baroda will start charging its customers for transactions beyond the prescribed limits from November 1. Names of other banks like Bank of India, PNB, Axis Bank and Central Bank had also cropped up. The finance ministry sought to clear the air around the same.

1) Bank of Baroda had made certain changes with effect from November 1, 2020, with regard to the number of free cash deposits and withdrawals per month, a Finance Ministry statement said. The number of free cash deposits and withdrawals have been reduced from five each per month to three each per month, with no change in the charges for transactions in excess of these free transactions, it said.

2) No other PSB has increased such charges recently, the ministry clarified.

3) Although, as per RBI guidelines, all banks, including public sector banks (PSBs), are permitted to levy charges for their services in a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner, based upon costs involved, other PSBs have also intimated that they do not propose to raise bank charges in the near future in view of the COVID pandemic.

4) With regard to Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts, it said, no service charge is applicable on the 60.04 crore such accounts, including 41.13 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened by the poor and unbanked segments of society, for the free services prescribed by RBI.

Mean-while, India’s COVID-19 caseload went past the 84 lakh mark, while the number of people who have recovered from the disease surged to 77.65 lakh, pushing the national recovery rate to 92.32 percent, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. India’s total coronavirus cases mounted to 84,11,724 with 47,638 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,24,985 with 670 new fatalities, data updated at 8.00 am showed. A total of 77,65,966 people have recuperated from COVID-19 so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 92.32 percent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.49 percent. The number of active COVID-19 cases remained below 6 lakh for the eighth consecutive day. There are 5,20,773 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as of date, which comprises 6.19 percent of the total caseload, data stated.