Chandigarh, Aug 10 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has suggested that people holding bank lockers should mandatorily declare their valuable assets.
Drawing the attention of the union government to the issue of liability for the loss of valuable items deposited in bank lockers, Khattar on Friday said that if the valuables are disclosed, the banks can easily buy a group insurance policy for the hirers of lockers.
In a letter written to the Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the Chief Minister said that if, for some reasons, this is considered impractical, customers can at least be given a choice to disclose.
“Even if the banks do not get the lockers of the subset of willing customers insured, this would help the bank and the government in quickly dealing with the claims, should any eventuality arise.
“This would be a big step forward since the Reserve Bank of India has not yet framed any parameters for assessing such losses. Moreover, this would be in consistent with Government of India’s laudable drive to curb black money and promoting transparency in financial transaction,” Khattar said in his letter.
Highlighting the need for putting in place a policy in this regard, the Chief Minister said people have immense faith in the public sector banks.
“They (people) keep their valuables in the lockers as they deem it a safe and secure place. Yet, the harsh fact is that the banks are not liable for the loss of valuables even when caused by a natural disaster or a criminal act. The legal reason behind this is said to be the non-disclosure clause in the locker agreement which provides that the hirer need not disclose the contents of the valuable items put in the locker,” he added.
The robbery in the Punjab National Bank at Gohana town near Panipat in October 2014 had highlighted the need for putting in place a policy framework in this regard, he said.