Interest amount calculation and TDS deduction for a cumulative fixed deposit - Appellant: RBI just referred to a master circular which is not of any help - Appellant: six bank officers came up with six different conclusions - CIC: provide information
Information about the interest amount calculation and TDS deduction for a cumulative fixed deposit and other related issues - Appellant: RBI has just referred to a master circular which did not appear to be of any help - Appellant: calculations done on the same data from six officers of the bank came up with six different conclusions - Appellant: if six different officers are coming up with different values then this is a serious matter and the RBI as the regulator must look into this more thoroughly and disclosure is in the public interest - Appellant: step by step calculation of the interest was sought to remove confusion in the bank - CIC: provide information
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 9-7-2012 seeking information about the interest amount calculation and TDS deduction for a cumulative fixed deposit and other related issues.
2. The CPIO responded on 18-7-2012, informing the appellant that the RTI application had been forwarded to the concerned department. On 31-7-2012, the CPIO had provided information on parts I, II and III of the RTI application. The appellant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 9-8-2012. The FAA did not respond. The appellant approached the Commission on 9-11-2012 in a second appeal.
3. I heard both the parties through videoconferencing. The appellant referred to the RTI application of 9-7-2012 and stated that she had asked information on three points but the response from the RBI has not been informative or helpful. The appellant stated that the three points on which she sought information pertained to the following:
(a) the methodology for calculating the amount at maturity of a fixed deposit (FD) taking into account the rates of interest;
(b) the rules that come into operation for calculating the tax deduction at source in the context of FD; and
(c) the system that comes into force in the event of FD closing prematurely.
4. The appellant stated that on the first point the RBI has just referred to a master circular which did not appear to be of any help; and that on points 2 and 3, the respondent has stated that the RBI has no instructions or information to provide.
5. The respondent stated that the RBI is not connected at all with the TDS issue, i.e., on points 2 and 3 and that they have not issued any instructions and this has been clearly informed to the appellant by the CPIO’s letter of 31-7-2012. The respondent, in context of the first point, stated that this point has been addressed in the above mentioned letter, i.e., that according to the instructions of the RBI to the various banks, the banks are free to adopt their own methodology but should inform the depositors in advance about the value on maturity.
6. The respondent stated that whatever information they could give has been provided. The respondent further stated that in a subsequent letter from the appellant a reference no. had also been sought in the context of the master circular, and this was also consequently speed posted to the appellant.
7. The appellant stated that the RBI is the regulator of the banks and establishes the norms and rules. The appellant stated that the RBI has approached the matter casually. The appellant stated that the reason why she has come in second appeal is because she did not get any response from the FAA and more fundamentally she had got the calculations done on the same data from six officers of the bank and they all came up with six different conclusions. The appellant stated that if six different officers are coming up with different values then this is a serious matter and the RBI as the regulator must look into this more thoroughly.
8. In this background, the appellant stated that she wants to know step-by-step calculation of the interest on a fixed deposit.
9. The appellant stated that she is persisting with her query only in the public interest. The appellant said that the confusion in the banks could be due to a number of reasons, for instance, how is the quarter calculated and how does it correspond to the exact date. It was in this light that she wanted to get information from the respondent about the step by step calculation of the interest. The appellant clarified that the RBI would do well to give a calculation sheet explaining the step by step calculation for which the RBI could either use the example given in the RTI application which is the appellant’s own instance or the RBI could give the step by step calculation of its own model calculation methodology.
10. The respondent is directed to provide, within 30 days of this order, information on para 8 above taking into account para 9 above. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ms Uma v. Reserve Bank of India in Decision No.CIC/VS/A/2013/000013/5441