Axis bank, one of the top private banks is likely to lose one of its biggest customers, the Maharashtra government. Axis bank handles the Maharashtra police department’s salary accounts.
The current Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government wants to now transfer managing of the salary accounts to a public sector bank. The final decision is, however, not out yet, the fate of the Axis bank will be sealed after the cabinet expansion of Uddhav towards the end of the month.
The Fadnavis-led Maha state government had assigned the management of almost 2 lakh salary accounts to Axis bank, the overall annual salary bill is over 11,000 crores. The management of the police department’s salary accounts was previously looked after by the State Bank of India until the Fadnavis-led state government took charge.
According to a leading daily, the Finance Minister Jayant Patil, from the NCP has confirmed that the government is looking to handover the management of the salary accounts to a nationalised bank.
During the Fadnavis government, the transfer of the police department’s salary accounts from SBI to Axis bank had stirred controversy after a Nagpur-based activist, Mohnish Jabalpure had filed a petition with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in August in 2019 alleging that the shift was motivated by the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ personal reasons.
Amruta Fadnavis, the wife of former CM Devendra Fadnavis holds a top position at the Axis bank. The activist claimed that the move had benefitted the Axis bank but taken away from SBI.
The police departments’ salary accounts were shifted to Axis bank in March 2005, at least 8 months before Fadnavis tied the knot with Amruta.
A source close to the government told the leading daily that the current CM Uddhav Thackeray is in favour of the move, he added, “Moving away from Axis Bank is definitely on the cards. It will be done after all departments get ministers.”