Cobrapost |
July 26, 2011

Here the Cobrapost journalist meets N. Singh, Backup Branch Manager, at this branch of HDFC Bank in Faridabad to discuss his proposition

N. Singh, Backup Branch Manager (Branch Banking), HDFC Bank, Faridabad, Haryana

Would it be possible to convert black money white? Yes, as Singh says: “Wo ho jayega (That will be done).”

Here the Cobrapost journalist meets N. Singh, Backup Branch Manager, at this branch of HDFC Bank in Faridabad to discuss his proposition: A politician wants to invest Rs. 50 lakh. The investment has to be made in the names of the frontman, that is, the journalist, his wife and the politician’s wife.

Invest the money in Crest, a tax-free investment plan available with her bank, Singh suggests. Under this plan, Rs.10 lakh has to be invested every year for 5 years. There would be no tax deductions.

But the basic aim is to convert the black money into white. Is that possible?  “Wo ho jayega(That will be done),” says Singh.

Would the money be routed through an account or would they accept cash? Singh replies:Aap kaisa chahte hain? Dekho Sir doh kaam hote hain. Aapne account khulwa diya, usmein paise daal diye. Wahan se aapne investment kar diya. Band kar do account,fir wo account band kar diya. Jab paise milne honge aapko dus saal baad, account khol denge. Usmein DD ban kar aa jayega. Wo paise aap nikal lena (How would you like to do it. Look, Sir, there are two things to be done. You open an account and deposit the money. You route the investment from there. After that you can close the account. When you are going to get the money back after 10 years, we will open an account. The DD will be credited into that account. You can withdraw the money then).” Open an account for the investment and then close it at your convenience after your purpose is served.

Has she handled such types of investments in cash before? From her answer, it is clear this is a routine matter. Singh said: Haan, haan, roz ka kaam hai humara. Humara roz ka kaam hai. Pehla case nahin hai ye (Yes, yes. This is our daily job. This is our daily job. This is not the first case of this type).” The only documents required were address or identity proof and a photograph.

Could the bank give a big locker for the Rs. 5–6 crore the politician is expecting in February? Singh says: “Locker hai humare paas. Bade locker ka charge hoyega 6000. Main safe dikha deti hun aapko (We have a locker. We will charge you Rs. 6000 for a big locker. Let me show you the safe).”

She takes the reporter to the locker room. Show me the biggest locker, asks the journalist. Singh says: “Sabse bada to ye hai Sir. Ismein already cash pada hua hai. Bade locker to cash ki wajah se hota hai (The biggest one is this, Sir. But cash is already lying there. People ask for bigger lockers to keep their cash).” Showing the smaller ones, she says:  “Doh possible hain (Two are possible).”

The politician’s wife often goes to England where she has some relatives. She would like the bank to transfer some of the cash from the Rs. 5–7 crore that would be kept in the bank’s lockers to England. Would her bank help? Pondering over the question for some time, Singh replies: “Rehti hai wo, ya ghumne jaati hai? Udhar ka koi proof hoga unka, koi address proof ho wahan ka, koi bank account khula ho … tarike hote hain bahut saare. Thode option nikalte hain, fir batate hain aapko. Koi naya option nahi batayenge … bankers hain hum. Kyunki aisa hai cash to jayega nahi, remittance ke through jata hai. Documents ke through hota hai. Ya to fir doosra route hota hai to bank ke through nahin hoga. Fir aap doosre route se bhejein. Mujhe ek din ka time dijiye pata kar ke bataungi aapko. Ekdum to jayega bhi nahin saare paise (Does she go there or lives there? Does she have some proof of residence there, some address proof there? Does she have an account there? There are many ways. Let me check on some options, then I will get back to you. I will not tell you a new option. We are bankers, after all. It is because the cash will not go, it will go through remittance. This is done through documents. Or you send it through another route which won’t be through the bank. Then you send it through an alternate route. Give me a day and I will get back to you after checking it. Then all the money will not be going at one shot).”


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