Kerala: Co-operative bank rules haunt pensioners

Around 40,000 KSRTC pensioners are burdened as they must open bank accounts at select cooperative banks falling under each depot.

Kochi: Though the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) started distributing pension dues for nearly six months from February 20 last, the woes of retired staff of the corporation are far from addressed. What has burdened majority of 40,000 pensioners is insistence of the management that all of them should open accounts at select co-operative bank under each depot for receiving the pension besides their bank accounts with the State Bank of India.

With many among the beneficiaries suffering from serious ailments or age-related illness, they are finding it difficult to comply with the directions. “Not only should we open account with a co-operative bank, but the same should be the one listed by the particular depot. For instance, if a pensioner is under the Ernakulam depot area, he should come all the way from his residence in Vypeen to open account with Edapally branch. Further, many cooperative branches are making us visit the branches multiple times by asking for attestation of pension book and the like, conditions not sought by other banks,” said Francis A.V., Ernakulam District Secretary of Pensioners Welfare Association.

This explains the reason why around 600 retired staff out of 1,150 pensioners under the Ernakulam region are yet to open their accounts in co-operative banks as on Friday. The pensioners also complain that they cannot avail the ATM facility with co-operative banks and this requires visiting its branches every time they need money. When contacted, a senior officer with administrating department said the insistence on opening new account is part of the agreement with co-operative banks. The Rs 218 crore fund for clearing the pension arrears was mobilised through the co-operative banks, including primary Agriculture Credit Societies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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