By Chamodi Gunawardana
The Joint Opposition yesterday stressed that the Government should give a concession period of six months for all depositors who have dormant bank accounts before nationalising those deposits via a consolidated fund.
The recent budget has proposed to remit monies lying in inactive accounts of commercial banks to a consolidated fund by 1 January 2016.
Addressing a media briefing MP Bandula Gunawardena asserted this proposal would be very unfair to all depositors who do not have much knowledge about the budget.
“We believe this was a trap of the Government to raise state funds by freezing public money without prior notice. Most people in rural areas have no idea about the budget proposal and they should be informed by the Government before transferring the deposited money to the consolidated fund,” he charged.
“We request President Maithripala Sirisena to allow Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to allocate a relief period for all depositors who have a dormant account,” he stressed.
Criticising the budget proposal to limit the pawning business of commercial banks to a maximum of 5% of their loan portfolio, Gunawardena alleged it would lead people to pawn their gold in private pawning centre under high interest.