It has been raised from ₹50 to ₹500; penalty to be levied if rule is not followed
Postal customers have raised concern over the increase in minimum balance for savings bank accounts. The Department of Posts had also given a deadline to maintain the new minimum balance by December.
The department had recently issued a circular in post offices that the minimum balance for savings account had been raised from ₹50 to ₹500. This has caused worry among many customers. Customers in southern suburbs noted that the post offices now insisted that account holders must maintain a minimum balance of ₹500 by December 11.
Post offices would levy a penalty of ₹100 every year for failing to maintain a minimum amount in account.
V.Santhanam, social activist, said many customers, particularly in the city’s peripheral areas and rural localities, were unorganised workers. Some belonged to the middle class.
“The low minimum balance in post office savings accounts had attracted many to open new accounts. It would burden many customers who can’t afford to open bank accounts,” he said.
In Chromepet post office alone, there were about 25,000 such accounts and many of them made transactions within ₹500. The department may consider increasing the minimum amount to ₹100, he added.
Residents demanded that the postal department must withdraw the raise in minimum balance and also annual penalty. They plan to make representation to the Department of Posts, Tambaram division, and also plan to hold a protest in Chromepet soon.
Officials of the Postal Department said there were about three crore accounts, including recurring deposit and monthly income scheme, across the State. The announcement related to minimum balance would have an impact on nearly two crore accounts.
“We have already recommended to the Union Ministry of Finance to withdraw the announcement on minimum balance and consider revising it to ₹100-₹200 and cancel the penalty. We have also suggested postponing the deadline for maintaining new balance,” a senior official said.