(Guinness Record Holder for letters in Newspapers)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a welcome initiative in forming ‘Depositor Educative & Awareness Fund’ (DEAF) for transferring unclaimed bank-deposits but only after expiry of long ten years of their being not claimed. But ten-years’ period is a very long period and banks must not be allowed to become self-custodian of huge amount of unclaimed money lying in banks especially when private sector dominates bank-industry with many foreign banks also becoming beneficiary to mint money out of depositors’ unclaimed bank-deposits.
RBI should reduce such ten-years’ period of transfer unclaimed bank-deposits in ‘Depositor Educative & Awareness Fund’ (DEAF) to a reasonable three-years’ period like exactly exists in case of companies where unclaimed dividends are transferred to a government-regulated account after three years.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should also issue a directive that all banks may inform their customers/depositors by registered post about their funds lying for more than three years in such suspense and inoperative accounts for being claimed in a time-bound period. After expiry of such time-bound period, all such unclaimed funds should be transferred to ‘Depositor Educative & Awareness Fund’ (DEAF). Similar system should be for deposits and accounts in post-offices.