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Farmers’ protest: Govt agencies turn the lens on funding


Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) investigating the funding aspect of the protracted farmers’ protests have sought additional details from banks under four heads — cash, bank transfer, debit card and forex — over and above what they are already submitting per the Reserve Bank of India’s circular on ‘Recording of Details of Transactions in Passbook/Statement of Account’.

Additional granular data are being sought following a review meeting recently conducted by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) with the RBI, banks and LEAs on reporting of transactions in connection with investigations by central agencies, said a banker.

By seeking additional transaction details from banks, it appears LEAs — the National Investigation Agency, the Directorate of Enforcement and the Intelligence Bureau — want to investigate the financial-backing aspect of the protracted agitation.

LEAs want information on ‘Cash-Credit’ (self through cash deposit voucher; by others through cash deposit voucher and cash deposit machine/CDM) and ‘Cash-Debit’ (self through voucher, self-cheque, cash withdrawal/POS debit, ATM/CDM withdrawal).

The agencies have turned the lens on “Bank Transfer-Credit and Debit” (through cheque/demand draft; online account-to-account within same bank; online transaction through payment gateways, NEFT, RTGS, UPI, prepaid payment instruments; IMPS; counter transfer).

“Debit Card-Credit” (card-to-card transfer), “Debit Card-Debit” (POS, online shopping platforms/other transaction platforms, card-to-card transfer), “Forex-Credit and Forex-Debit” (through money transfer service scheme/MTSS, online) will also come under the agencies’ scanner.

Per RBI circular relating to “Recording of Details of Transactions in Passbook/Statement of Account”, banks are already required to record a host of transactions, but the LEAs are seeking additional details that are not being collected by the banks at present.



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