New Delhi: The State Bank of India on Wednesday justified the Minimum Balance Charges it proposed two days ago saying they are necessary to compensate for operational costs incurred while managing Jan Dhan accounts and operating ATMs.
"The charges are also being levied to prevent taxpayers from paying extra towards the operational costs that are being spent by the banks", SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said while addressing the media during India SME Forum in New Delhi, according to ANI.
"Managing ATMs comes with a charge, with regards to printing, transporting, counting and recycling currency notes, which are being paid indirectly by tax payers. This is creating an obstacle for account holders," she said.
"With digitisation, it has become easier to facilitate digital payment. This is why we are urging citizens to reduce cash withdrawal. With this, the costs incurred in maintaining ATMs will be drastically reduced. The charges we have put in place are very reasonable in this regard," added Bhattacharya.
Furthermore, she stated that this charge is not applicable on the 11 crore Jan Dhan accounts that are registered with SBI.
The bank has initiated a 'work-from-home' policy, applicable for both men and women. On obtaining prior permission, employees have been given the opportunity to work from their home, in case of any emergency. Bhattacharya, however, stated that only a few tasks can be performed from home, owing to security reasons.
The SBI has proposed to charge an additional fee in case of minimum balance being less that Rs. 5,000 in cities and Rs. 1,000 in rural areas.